(Nov. 18/13) Without any industry consultation, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration announced changes to the Canadian Experience Class on Nov. 9. Government will no longer consider applications involving work experience in two restaurant industry occupations:

  • foodservice supervisors (NOC Code 6311); and
  • cooks (NOC Code 6322).

CRFA responds
CRFA expressed disappointment and frustration with the changes to senior officials in the department and minister’s office. We told them these changes were problematic because they:

  • were announced without industry consultation;
  • took effect the same day they were published;
  • offered no grace period or grandfathering option to help workers already in the application process; and
  • caused great stress for staff of our members.

Government’s explanation
The government said these changes were due to:

  • concern that individuals were leaving the restaurant industry as soon as they gained permanent residency status;
  • the large number of applications received under the two codes compared to other skilled worker classes, which suggested fraudulence; and
  • the need to cap application numbers.

Government pointed to the recent expansion of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) as a way to meet our members’ labour needs. It noted:

  • most PNPs will keep accepting applications for the two discontinued NOC codes;
  • the PNP program continues to expand; and
  • PNP places remain to be filled in Alberta.

CRFA’s next steps
CRFA is continuing to press government on the labour shortage faced by our members in some parts of the country. We will meet with Employment Minister Jason Kenney, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and the EI Commissioner this week, with more meetings scheduled next week. CRFA is also presenting to the House of Commons Finance Committee on job creation and the labour shortage. We will reiterate the problems our members face with ongoing changes to the temporary foreign worker (TFW) program.

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