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Business and Political Feedback on new LMIA Rules

Problems with the temporary foreign worker program, abuse by a small group of employers, and massive changes implemented by the Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) have been widely publicized. Following such changes, the Minister of ESDC was recently in attendance of a press conference where fellow politicians questioned the changes, the impact on business in Canada, and the possibility of scaling back the overhaul.

A Liberal MP candidate stated that businesses are suffering as a result of the new rules, suggested that the changes paint all businesses with the same brush, and asked about the possibility of easing the requirements. However, the Minister responded negatively, indicating that there is no current plan for such easing of the rules. In responding, the Minister, whose riding is in Calgary, Alberta, stated that the program had been overused in that province and pointed to discrepancies between the wages of fast food workers in that province and cost of living increases. The problem with this response is that it reinforces the impression that problems with a specific sector in a specific region has resulted in modifications which may solve problems for that demographic, but which may not be logically applicable to all sectors and all regions.

The Premier of Alberta has stated that the new temporary foreign worker program requirements are causing problems for employers looking to fill certain jobs. As a Federal election appears to be on the horizon, it will be interesting to see if this becomes a focus of campaigning.

Date Posted: October 09, 2014 Posted In: Labour Market Impact Assessment

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