FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Apr. 10/13) TORONTO – The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program is critical to restaurant operators in select geographical regions in Canada, where they have no other staffing options for their businesses.

We can no longer allow myths and generalizations about the program to be perpetuated because of a few high-profile cases.

MYTH:

FACT:

There is one set of rules for Canadian workers and another set of rules for temporary foreign workers (TFWs).

TFWs are protected by the same labour laws as Canadian workers, including employment standards, workplace health and safety and WCB.

MYTH:

FACT:

Temporary foreign workers are paid 15% less than Canadians.

Employers cannot and do not pay TFWs less than their Canadian workers. They must advertise jobs at the prevailing wage rate set by the government for the occupation based on limited labour market data. If employers can demonstrate through payroll records that the prevailing wage rate is set significantly higher than the industry norm, they are permitted to pay up to 15% below the prevailing wage rate – but never lower than what they pay their Canadian staff.

MYTH:

FACT:

Temporary foreign workers are a source of cheap and easy labour for employers.

The TFW program is expensive and time-consuming for restaurant operators. They must go through a multi-step application process that can take weeks or months, and pay foreign recruitment fees, return-air fare, transportation costs and many other expenses. They would much prefer if Canadians or permanent residents were available.

MYTH:

FACT:

The Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (A-LMO) process is being used inappropriately.

The A-LMO process is only available to employers hiring for skilled positions such as managers and assistant managers.Employers must meet all program requirements, including a review of their past performance. They must:

  • have a clean compliance record with the TFW program within the last two years;
  • have agreed to all requirements included in the A-LMO application and consented to participate in a post A-LMO compliance review;
  • not have been subject to an investigation, infraction or a serious complaint; and
  • not have any unresolved violations or contraventions under provincial laws governing employment and recruitment.

MYTH:

FACT:

Temporary foreign workers are denying jobs to Canadians.

TFWs represent 2% of the 1.1 million restaurant jobs in Canada. The Prairies, and primarily Alberta, account for upwards of 90% of TFW participants in the industry and only in communities where restaurant jobs cannot be filled.

CRFA has put forth a number of recommendations to government on ways to strengthen the efficiency, integrity and reputation of this important program. Click here (PDF) to read our recommendations.

CRFA is one of Canada’s largest business associations, with more than 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada’s restaurant industry generates $65 billion annually in economic activity and employs more than 1.1 million people in communities across the country.

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