Canada clears path for more temporary foreign workers to replace skilled workers

Kenney’s reforms make it easier to hire TFWs in skilled trades

NTFW : June 21, 2014

Employment Minister Jason Kenney has made it easier for businesses to hire temporary foreign workers in skilled trades by reactivating the controversial accelerated labour market opinion (LMO) program, according to NTFW.CA analysis of the reforms package announced by the government today.

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications for skilled trades where the wage offered is at or above the regional median wage will now be approved within a 10-business-days.

The new fast-track LMIA stream is very similar to the controversial accelerated LMO scheme which Minister Kenney suspended last year after it emerged that about half of the approvals were rushed through with little or no review.

Canadians in the skilled trades have been one of the groups hardest hit by the TFW program, with numerous documented cases of hundreds of Canadian workers being replaced by foreign workers.

“Positions in the skilled trades are essential to the development of major infrastructure and natural resource extraction projects, which are vital to Canada’s economic growth,” Minister Kenney’s department Employment and Social Development Canada claims. “Over time, other occupations may be added based on evidence from more and better labour market information.”

However, NTFW.CA advisor and journeyman electrician Michael Thomas disagrees, highlighting numerous studies, including the governments own, that have concluded that there is no general labour shortage in Canada.

“There is no shortage of labour. There is only a shortage of cheap labour. Even non-union Canadians expect some degree of fairness and a decent wage,” Thomas said. “TFWs are ripe for abuse and they directly reduce the numbers of tax paying employed citizens working“

Minister Kenney and Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced an overhaul of the temporary foreign worker program and lifting of the moratorium on approving foodservice sector TFWs.

(read the full article at NTFW)