Restaurants Canada welcomes softening of harsh changes to foreign worker program

Published December 15, 2016

TORONTO, December 15, 2016 –  Restaurants Canada welcomes the repeal of a 2011 regulation that limits temporary foreign workers to a maximum of four years in Canada. This is an important first step in making this program a pathway to permanent residency.

“Most foreign workers come to Canada with the hopes and dreams of staying in this country,” says Joyce Reynolds, Restaurants Canada’s Executive Vice President Government Affairs.  “Often they’re brought in because of permanent – not temporary – labour shortages, and their employers want to help them stay. After putting down roots in communities where they’re badly needed, it’s devastating for workers and their employers when they’re required to leave.”

 

Other positive changes

Confirmation that the 20 per cent cap will remain in place, rather than having it drop to 10 per cent as the previous government regulated, will also provide some hope for employers – particularly in small and remote communities, where there are no other options to hire workers.

Extension to 2018 of the 180-day exemption from regulations for seasonal employers is also welcome, especially for restaurants in resort communities with perpetual worker shortages in peak seasons.

The restaurant industry remains committed to hiring Canadians first. It is proud of its diverse and inclusive workforce, and its record of hiring from groups otherwise underrepresented in the country’s labour force.

 

Restaurants Canada is a growing community of 30,000 foodservice businesses, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and suppliers. We connect our members from coast to coast, through services, research and advocacy for a strong and vibrant restaurant industry. Canada’s restaurant industry directly employs 1.2 million Canadians, is the number one source of first jobs, and serves 18 million customers every day.

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