Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

December 08, 2006 15:19 ET

HRSDC: Canada's New Government Announces New Measures to Help Ontario Employers Interested in Hiring Foreign Workers

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 8, 2006) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Canada, was joined by the Honourable Michael Colle, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today in announcing improvements to the delivery of the Foreign Worker Program in Ontario. The development of a Regional List of Occupations Under Pressure for Ontario will make it easier, faster, and less costly for employers in Ontario to hire foreign workers where there are no qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents available to fill the position.

Canada's new government has also introduced Regional Lists of Occupations under Pressure, which cut recruitment time for employers attempting to fill high demand positions for which no qualified Canadian resident is available, in Alberta and British Columbia. Lists in other regions which are facing similar labour pressures, are also in development.

"Improvements to the Foreign Worker Program are just one way this Government is helping Canadian employers meet their labour demands," said Minister Finley. "The creation of a list for Ontario will make it easier and two-to-four weeks faster for employers to hire temporary foreign workers. This measure will effectively help employers having difficulty finding Canadian workers to fill their human resources needs, while continuing to protect the access of Canadian workers to the labour market."

"We are pleased to continue working with the federal government to ensure that the immigration system matches Ontario's labour market needs," said the Honourable Mike Colle, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. "This is an opportunity that will benefit Ontario's employers and our economy."

In order to develop occupational lists for regions, HRSDC/Service Canada use both quantitative and qualitative labour market information specific to a region to determine if an occupation is under pressure. Occupations lists, once developed, are reviewed every six months to ensure that they remain accurate and continue to reflect current labour market conditions.

In addition to the development of Regional Lists of Occupations Under Pressure, a step-by-step guide has been developed for employers who need to hire temporary foreign workers. The guide will be useful in all parts of the country and is available at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/tfw-guide.html

To learn more about Regional Lists of Occupations Under Pressure, please visit: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/epb/lmd/fw/occunderpres.shtml


BACKGROUNDER

Regional Lists of Occupations Under Pressure

The Temporary Foreign Worker program (TFW) allows employers to hire foreign workers to meet their human resource needs when Canadian workers are not readily available.

The Program is jointly administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Human Resources and Social Development Canada/Service Canada (HRSDC/SC), and operates under the authority of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations (IRPA).

HRSDC/SC's role with respect to the entry into Canada of temporary foreign workers is to provide employers and CIC with a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) which describes the impact the entry of a temporary foreign worker would have on the Canadian labour market. HRSDC/SC assesses employer requests against set criteria such as recruitment efforts for Canadian workers and confirms that wages and working conditions are consistent with those prevailing in Canada for the occupation. If HRSDC/SC confirms that there are not enough Canadian citizens or permanent residents available to fill the jobs, a positive LMO is issued. The foreign national can then proceed and apply to CIC for a work permit.

In some regions, and depending on the circumstances/time, labour market information may indicate that the demand for labour in certain specific occupations is greater than the available supply. To meet the pressing human resource needs of employers, HRSDC/SC have developed regional lists of occupations under pressure. For occupations found on these lists, employers will not be required to undertake lengthy or comprehensive advertising efforts before being eligible to apply to hire a foreign worker.

Employers will still be required to first advertise for Canadian workers to ensure that Canadians and permanent residents are given the opportunity to apply for available positions. However, employers will only need to advertise on the Job Bank, Canada's national job website for at least seven days, or conduct similar recruitment activities. For certain low-skilled occupations, employers have to satisfy both conditions.

In order to develop occupational lists, regional HRSDC/SC Labour Market information officials use both quantitative data and qualitative information specific to a region to determine if an occupation is potentially under pressure. Once a list is developed, it will be updated at least once a year or as shifts in the labour market dictate.

An employer seeking to hire a temporary foreign worker for an occupation which appears on a regional occupations list is still required to obtain an LMO from HRSDC/SC and will still need to satisfy all other Foreign Worker Program criteria (e.g. wages and working conditions) in order to receive a positive LMO (i.e. confirmation).

In 2005, Canada accepted almost 100,000 temporary foreign workers. For more information please visit: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/epb/lmd/fw/occunderpres.shtml

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Colleen Cameron
    Press Secretary
    (819) 994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    (819) 994-5559