February 22, 2016

Parliamentary Committee to Review Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Posted by Legal Team - Bellissimo Law Group PC

As reported by the Globe and Mail and CBC news, Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk has announced that the government is seeking to review recent reforms to the temporary foreign worker (TFW) program. The previous government overhauled the temporary foreign worker program in June 2014, and some of the changes are set to come into effect later this year. Many of the previous and upcoming reforms received considerable criticism by concerned parties as being too strict and onerous.

The Employment Minister will ask a parliamentary committee for proposals to fix the TFW program. Among the issues that could be reviewed are caps to the percentage of foreign workers that companies can employ, prohibitions to hiring in regions with high unemployment, and obstacles preventing seasonal hiring.

This announcement is one among many slated reviews or rollbacks of legislative and policy changes put in place by the previous government, as outlined in the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship John McCallum in early 2016. The mandate also touches on changes to be made to refugee policy and permanent residence programs, such as parent and grandparent sponsorship, spousal sponsorship and the Express Entry intake system for skilled worker applications.

Details are only preliminary at this point; we will keep you updated with any further developments.