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State of the Labour Market Opinion

Canadian Employers seeking temporary foreign workers through Labour Market Opinion (LMO) applications have seen a lot of changes over the past year. In April we saw cancellation of the Accelerated program, reduced flexibility, and increased power of the government to monitor and cancel work permits and/or LMOs. This was followed in August be the largest change to the program in many years, including increases to advertising requirements, implementation of a processing fee, and more.

In recent months, the appearance is that the changes have continued to take place internally, in a way that is not so outwardly apparent and not announced or published by the government. On July 15, 2013 Jason Kenney became the Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, leaving his former post as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Many are aware of the many, many changes that took place within Citizenship and Immigration Canada during his tenure, and it is apparent that the same is now happening within Service Canada, responsible for the processing of the LMO applications.

Communications with Service Canada reveal that there is increasing scrutiny of applications, as well as an effort to harmonize processing methodologies nationally (those familiar with the LMO process may have lamented about the dramatic differences in policy from one province to the next). There is an increase in delays that is going along with this. The newly implemented processing fee should permit for more resources for processing, but there is no current appearance of this. Delays in processing appear set to double relative to earlier this year.

In a recent Globe and Mail article, the Minister hints and more changes on the way. This much is expected. There is an unclear reference to the possible reinstatement of the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion program that was one of the first casualties of the controversy involving the Royal Bank of Canada this year. He states that there is recognition of the need to strike a balance between the needs of business and the needs of Canadians.

Date Posted: October 28, 2013 Posted In: Labour Market Opinion

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