June 21, 2013

VIA FACSIMILE & E-MAIL

Mr. Philippe Massé
Director, Temporary Resident Policy and Program, Immigration Branch
Department of Citizenship and Immigration
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1

Re: Canada Gazette, Part Ⅰ, Vol. 147, No. 23 — June 8, 2013: Regulations
Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations

Dear Mr. Massé:

The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) has been a vocal advocate and supporter of government intention to implement additional measures that will help guarantee the reputation and integrity of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program.

We support the government in this objective as the program is of crucial importance to our members who operate restaurant establishments in areas of the country experiencing labour shortages. Many of our remarks in regard to how the TFW program can be strengthened can be found in our March 28, 2013 submission to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), in response to its “Review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program”.

However, two aspects of the June 8th proposed amendments to the current Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, as published in the Canada Gazette, cause particular concern among our 30,000 members: 1) the ability of HRSDC to conduct restaurant site inspections without notice, and 2) that inspections can be conducted up to six years after the last day of a TFW day of employment.

In regard to the ability of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and HRSDC to conduct site inspections without notice, our association strongly advocates that these only occur if the suspicion of wrongdoing exists – and not be the result of random verification. When inspections are to take place, we urge that notice is provided, to ensure that the inspection is as productive as possible and restaurant operations are not unduly disrupted. Additionally, it should be noted that many restaurants do not maintain their management records on site; this is certainly the rule in regard to our chain members’ corporate locations, for which TFW files tend to be stored at the company’s regional offices.

In regard to the proposed provision that, “inspections could be conducted of employers from the first day of employment of the TFW up until six years after the last day of that employment”, and that employers be required to retain records over that six year period, our members believe this is an excessive time period, particularly for a business that may operate on three shifts, over a 24-hour, seven day-a-week period, and experiences a higher staff turnover than many other Canadian industry sectors. We advocate that any issues related to a TFW employment be resolved within a shorter time period, to lessen the administrative burden of maintaining the required personnel data records over such long a period.

Finally, we would question the modest additional administrative costs associated with the proposed regulatory amendments, as cited in the Canada Gazette. CRFA believes the costs related to long-term record keeping and data retention, as well as potential site inspections, to be much higher than the dollar amounts quoted.

In closing, the CRFA and our industry remain strongly supportive of the additional monitoring of the TFW program, in order to guarantee its reputation and increase the confidence of the Canadian public that it is being used – solely – for the purpose intended: to support the continued success of Canadian businesses in regions possessed with little other labour recruitment options.

But in regard to the June 8th proposals, we ask the government to carefully consider its potential amendments, and to not unduly increase the administrative burden placed on what are often under-resourced businesses in a highly competitive industry.

Yours respectfully,
rickhall_signature

Rick Hall
Federal Policy Director

July 4, 2013

VIA FACSIMILE & E-MAIL

Mr. Philippe Massé
Director, Temporary Resident Policy and Program, Immigration Branch
Department of Citizenship and Immigration
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1

Re: Canada Gazette, Part Ⅰ, Vol. 147, No. 23 — June 8, 2013: Regulations
Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations

Dear Mr. Massé:

As a follow-up to our letter dated June 21st in regard to the above named proposed amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, we made reference to the fact that many employers amongst our 30,000 members are concerned about the proposed regulation that TFW records be retained on file for a six-year period. Our members believe this is an excessive time period and an overly burdensome administrative requirement.

In lieu of the proposed time period, CRFA would like to suggest that any new requirement for TFW employment data retention be brought in line with the current Canadian Labour Standards Regulations (C.R.C., c.986) which states records be kept for a period of “at least” three years.

We believe a three-year period will provide government with a sufficient timeline to conduct any investigations required and ensure employer compliance with the mission and objections of the TFW program, while lessening an additional administration requirement for our members, many of which are often under-resourced businesses in a highly competitive industry.

We realize the deadline for commentary on the proposed amendments has passed, but still hope the department will give serious consideration to our request.

Yours respectfully,
rickhall_signature
Rick Hall
Federal Policy Director

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