Applications to the Temporary Foreign Worker program (TFW) experienced a drop of 74% in August 2014 in reaction to major fundamental reforms to the TFW Program made earlier this year. The changes were instated to guarantee that Canadians are the top priority in the workforce.
The 74% reduction in applications is on part of the employers. In June, new rules for hiring temporary foreign workers were applied making it more difficult for employers to turn to international hiring. The reforms come in response to several situations where Canadians were overlooked for employment, such as a large electrical contractor in Saskatchewan that allegedly laid off 58 Canadian electricians while keeping several temporary foreign workers on the job. The federal government is currently investigating this situation.
An exploration of the new rules has revealed some of the most impactful aspects of the reforms, such as the requirement that employers do not cut down the hours of Canadian workers or lay them off at work sites that employ temporary foreign workers.
There is also a restriction on employers hiring low-wage temporary foreign workers in regions where the unemployment rate is above six percent, which will only allow employers to hire foreign workers as 10% of their workforce by 2016. Other additions include a fee of $1000.00 per TFW application, making the program essentially unobtainable for many small businesses.
There have been several complaints in response to the new rules, with employers and even premiers stating that the new rules make it too difficult for businesses to operate in areas of the country with low unemployment. Western premiers primarily have concern regarding the provinces’ pressing need for skilled labour, and a lack of potential qualified employees. Many believe the reforms to the TWF program to be ineffective.
The Temporary Foreign Worker program heavily impacts immigration to Canada, which further impacts population changes. Statistics Canada has projected that the overall population of Canada by 2038 will be between 39 million and 48 million, with several provincial populations and demographics exponentially fluctuating throughout the years.
FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration, follow FWCanada on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.