Standing Committee report recommends more rational approach to foreign worker program

Published September 20, 2016

TORONTO, September 20, 2016 – Many of the long-awaited recommendations from the federal Standing Committee on Human Resources and Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) to reform the temporary foreign worker (TFW) program are consistent with those made by Restaurants Canada. These include:

  • pathways to permanent residency that include timely processing;
  • expedited LMIA process;
  • more granular and improved labour market information;
  • more cap flexibility;
  • ability to make minor modifications to contracts if both parties agree;
  • better information sharing between federal government and provinces; and
  • removal of the “cumulative duration” rule limiting the length of stay of TFWs.

“The strength of the foreign worker program is that it brings much needed workers to communities where employers have no other options,” said Joyce Reynolds, Restaurants Canada’s Executive Vice President, Government Affairs. “If these recommendations are adopted, more of these highly valued workers will be able to become permanent and full-fledged participants in the communities where they live and work.”

Restaurants Canada is puzzled by one recommendation to eliminate employer-specific work permits, as there is already flexibility for foreign workers to switch employers within their region and sector. This raises questions of how applications would be made and who would pay the fees and fares required for lower-skilled workers in particular.

Read the Standing Committee’s report.

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. 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. 

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