December 4, 2015
On October 19, 2015, the Canadian electorate handed Justin Trudeau and the Liberals 184 out of 338 seats in the House of Commons. As a result, the Liberals are now a majority government, meaning that they have the legislative power to push through their promises in regards to immigration.
Here are some of their promises:
- The Liberals will repeal a much-criticized part of the C-24 bill, which made it possible to strip dual citizens of their Canadian citizenship if they are convicted of either terrorism, high treason, or other crimes of a similar magnitude.
- Time spent as either a student or a temporary resident will be counted as part of the 4-year residency requirement to become a Canadian citizenship.
- Express Entry will be reviewed to ensure that it is processing applicants in a timely manner. On a related note, the Comprehensive Ranking System used for Express Entry will see a minor change in that applicants with siblings in Canada might receive extra points.
- Family class immigration will receive a doubling of its budget for faster processing times. Furthermore, family sponsorship will become easier. For example, the maximum age of dependent children will be raised to 22 from 19, the annual number of parents and grandparents will be raised to 10,000 from 5,000, and new spouses will receive permanent residency right away.
- The Temporary Foreign Worker program will be reviewed by the Auditor General. At the same time, it will have better monitoring so that it can keep an eye on complaints as well as the jobs being offered to participants.
December 4, 2015
A greater number of Canadian students are pursuing higher education leading to a decrease in the low-skilled worker population. This has lead to the growth in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program Program.
A report released by Jean-Denis Fréchette states that more educated Canadians are less likely to apply for positions in the child care, agricultural, and retail/restaurant field. These jobs are traditionally underemployed with higher turnover rates and lower wages. In 2006, 14.6% of the labor force has less than a high-school diploma, which comprises the majority of low-skilled workers’ education level. By 2013, only about 10.3% of the labor force had less than a high-school education.
This has created some difficulty for employers to find suitable candidates at current wages to fill their positions, in turn leading to a significant growth of the temporary foreign worker program in the last 10 years. This is a highly controversial program due to the accusations of alleged abuse of foreign workers by employers. There are also concerns about how much this programs distorts the actual numbers of the labor force.
Although this has lead to major reforms in the programs, limiting employers to fill low skilled positions in areas where unemployment is above 6%, exceptions were made for agricultural workers and live-in caregivers. The reforms also somewhat failed to address the need for higher wages. The report is also incomplete due to a lack of regional data. Many employers who were affected by these reforms have argued against increased wages and the 6% rule stating that there are limitations to how quickly businesses can adapt to new workers and raise wages, since high wages must be met with increasing profit margins.
The federal government has increased funding to Statistics Canada to improve the reliability of the data for this report. Accurate numbers could help the government restructure the program in order to introduce new benefits for businesses in exchange for hiring temporary foreign workers.
December 4, 2015
The labor shortage in the food and agricultural industry has been worsened by the recent Temporary Foreign Worker Program reforms, according to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council.
The new reforms of the program have been brought on since the controversial issue of alleged abuse of foreign workers by employers. This include a limit on hiring foreign workers in sectors where the unemployment rate is at 6%.
In response to these reforms the food and agricultural industry has sought changes including extensions to make it easier to bring in speciality professions, such as butchers and meat cutters. These positions; however, are classified as low-skilled and ineligible for entry according to Canadian immigration policy. This area of the food industry requires serious attention from the government since the meat and livestock industry currently has to ship product to American plants for slaughter and processing. Canadian plants lack the capacity to process their own and this is costing us several jobs and export sales to foreign markets.
Many food industry executives find the new reforms to be overreaching and a detrimental to the industry’s success rate. Although the government is currently negotiating new trade deals which are crucial for the food and agriculture industry, the reforms to the temporary foreign worker program have severely impaired the production capabilities of many companies. This s detrimental for our food industry’s ability t compete in the international market.
Despite limited profit margins, in order to address the concerns of critics of the temporary foreign worker program the meat industry has increased wages by 3.4% this year, one of the largest increases across all industries, according to Farm Credit Canada. This has not seemed to help the increasing amount of vacancies in the Canadian meat plants.
December 4, 2015
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program has come under fire with alleged accusations of employer abuse of foreign workers. This has caused the government to implement strict reforms against employers, designed to appease the public. The long-term goal of these reforms is to offer prospective foreign workers Canadian citizenship.
Long time critics of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program have argued that this initiative takes away jobs from Canadians and drives down wages; however, those in favor of the program argue that many Canadians are not seeking the sorts of jobs that the Temporary Foreign Worker Program aims to fill. Often jobs associated with this program require workers to relocate to rural communities and work for lower wages.
Regardless of these critiques some industries have become severely dependent on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. As a result, domestic wages are negatively impacted, and the industry itself is hurt by the introduction of these new reforms. The aim of the program was to compliment the existing domestic labor, not act as a substitute. Temporary foreign workers would take the jobs Canadians are not, in order to de-saturate the job market.
There is a risk that the new reforms will inhibit new workers from immigrating to Canada with such strict regulations applied on employers. This has already resulted in a significant shortage of workers in industries such as mining, meat production, agriculture, etc. Companies and industry leaders are predicting heavy losses in revenue due to the production shortages.
This new regulatory reform offering foreign workers citizenship is ideal for both employees and employers, but would require a large scale restricting of the program. Since the program was based on keeping the foreign workers temporary. In response to this the government has introduced the new ‘Express Entry’ program. This program is designed to qualified foreign workers as opposed to the low-skilled workers of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. It is more favorable for the government to attract qualified workers over low-skilled workers, but it is the low skilled labor shortages which the government must address.
December 3, 2015
Fort McMurray will always elicit negative emotions from a majority of Canadians. It never ceases to amaze how many of these people have hardly been, yet they still hold strong opinions about this place. What makes such a city receive so much negative press? My two cents’ worth is that the dwellers pay little attention to what others think. They are simply too busy working and progressing in life.
Despite a populace of about 60,000, approximately 100,000 more people commute for work in the oil sand regions. The over 29 airports fly in people from across the world. The transient nature of the city makes it more susceptible to some lazy opinions.
A good number of workers are seen journeying further north to camps. They seldom set foot in the city. In a majority of these camps, alcohol and drugs are unheard. But as common with boomtowns with workers earning huge paychecks, the locals confirm that prostitution and drug abuse exists, but in isolation.
The diversity of the city can never go unnoticed. We can’t help to imagine how much culture shock the visitors get, especially in winter season. The city is a beehive activity with people from diverse backgrounds.
December 1, 2015
In 2015, the US job market has experienced the greatest amount of growth since the end of the recession in 2009. 200,000-220,000 new jobs are created per month, significantly more so than the past four years. These promising new numbers have lead forecasters to predict for another positive month for the labor market.
The unemployment rate has declined by 0.2% to 5.6% in December. The number of unemployed individuals went to 8.7 million, a decline by 383,000. Throughout the year the unemployment rate has declined 1.1% to 1.7 million individuals. Of these statistics for December, there is a 5% decline in unemployed adult women.
There has been an increase in employment in the professional and business services sector, with the addition of 52,000 jobs in December alone. In the administrative and waste services jobs increased by 35,000. Computer systems design and related IT jobs went up by 9,000. Engineering and architecture increased by 5,000.
Despite these promising numbers an in-depth analysis of the monthly trends and statistics suggest that even with the steady demand for jobs increasing it is still low compared to the supply of potential workers. In the manufacturing sector, developments in productivity have increased efficiency in production, meaning that the average worker does not receive enough hours as they used to. This means that wages are not increasing as steadily as they need to be. This is also influenced by the Affordable Care Act which requires employers to provide health care coverage for employees working a certain number of hours within a given time period. This has consequently caused employers to cut back hours in order to curb the health care costs. This also accounts for the significant increase in expenditure for many businesses in the last few months, significantly limiting their profit margins.
December 1, 2015
For many employers in Canada, an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) is very important before hiring a temporary foreign worker through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The TFWP permits them to fill positions with foreign workers if no Canadian worker is available to fill the said position.
Are you an employee curious about how to get LMIA in Canada? Well, you’re in luck because this article will give you a brief introduction on how to get LMIA in Canada aside from outlining to you the guide and procedure on the same.
The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
Previously known as the Labour Market Opinion (LMO), the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is now the screening mechanism for any employer in need of hiring temporary foreign workers. These changes were made in June 2014 when the Canada Immigration changed their Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
Moreover, these changes were made to highlight strict priorities to any Canadian citizen for available jobs and other important amendments. Therefore, employers have to offer sufficient information about the ongoing job application and any data required on the LMIA. Additionally, employers with more than ten employees who apply for new LMIA are subject to a 10% cap on their workforce’s proportion consisting of low-wage temporary foreign workers.
With the wages being more accurate reflections of the occupational skill levels and the conditions of the labour market, the NOC will be replaced by the wage levels.
‘Low-wage’ jobs are those jobs that rank below the provincial or the territorial median wage while ‘high-wage’ jobs are those above the median wage. The current application fee is $1000 for every job position as opposed to the previous $275 before the reforms.
What Is LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment)?
According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the LMIA is an ‘a must have’ document for any employer in Canada willing to hire foreign workers. The document is fundamentally used to show the need to hire a foreign worker for any job position that a Canadian worker cannot perform.
It is a labour market verification process where the Employment and Social Development Canada or simply (ESDC) assesses employment offers to ensure that employing a foreign worker will have no negative impact on the labor market in Canada.
For this reason, the employer will have to offer a variety of information on the vacant position they wish to hire a foreign worker, including the total number of Canadians who applied for the position and those interviewed as well as a detailed explanation why no Canadian worker was considered for the position.
To any foreign employee, the LMIA is usually processed by your employer in Canada along with your work permit. Therefore, the responsibility of paying the required LMIA fees lies on the employer. Therefore take caution of any employer asking for the LMIA fees; the job could probably not be legit.
While you may be required to have the LMIA as a foreign worker, there are certain exceptions that will not necessarily need an LMIA like the youth exchange programs, free trade agreements and jobs under the International Mobility Program.
The Requirements of Getting LMIA in Canada
As mentioned earlier, the sole responsibility of processing and applying for LMIA lies on your employer. The employer will have to contact the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) who’ll provide them with the details of processing the LMIA along with all the requirements needed.
If you’re familiar with getting LMO in Canada, then the process is closely related, though, after the new reforms made in June 2014, the process of getting LMIA is stricter with a $1000 fee per position job application requested for a labour market opinion.
Before applying for LMIA, an employer will have to advertise the job vacancies to the Canadian job market at least in the first four weeks. Additionally the employer applying for the LMIA will be required to provide proof that the foreign employment will not impact negatively on the Canada Labour Market aside from proving that Canadians cannot fill the job offering.
How Long Does It Take To Have An LMIA Approved?
Well, the ESDC has set a 10-day processing commitment to certain LMIA applications especially high-demand jobs as skilled trades and jobs with shorter duration of work period – normally less than 120 days.
What Do You Do After Getting A Positive LMIA?
Once you have a positive LMIA, as a foreign worker, you can now proceed to apply for a working visa. Your employer will send you a copy of the LMIA along with a signed employment contract that are necessary requirements for getting a visa at the Canadian embassy.
This procedure is usually done in your country of residence outside Canada. The Canadian embassy will require a work permit, LMIA, your medical exams along with other documents and immigration permits the moment you leave the country. It’s important therefore to check your country’s immigration requirements before your flight to Canada.
What If You Get Negative LMIA?
As much as Canada is a wealthy country with numerous employment opportunities, your LMIA may be disapproved due to one reason or another. If you have a negative LMIA, your employer may request a review of the application. However, this doesn’t guarantee that your LMIA will be approved this time around.
To The Employer
Any employer applying for an LMIA for the first time will be required to provide a business license or permit along with the signed statement that shows his willingness to abide by the program requirements. Employers applying for a second LMIA will have to show that they have met all the terms and conditions of employment that were set in the previous LMIA confirmation letter.
With this information, you now have an idea of the requirements and procedure for getting an LMIA in Canada. Moreover, this article has not only outlined the requirements but also given you a clear understand of what an LMIA is and why it is important for employers to apply for one
December 1, 2015
With the recent election of Trudeau’s Liberals, Canadians and their families overseas have so many questions regarding changes and potential changes to the immigration policy.
Like many first world countries, Canada has an aging population, a long life expectancy and a decreasing birth rate, so the country depends on immigration to grow in population and economy.
Justin Trudeau has pledged to make family reunification a priority right away. His aim is to welcome new immigrants, extend humanitarian aid and give assistance to refugees in a push to demonstrate compassion and create jobs and long-term economic growth for Canada.
Some critics suggest the scrapping of the Express Entry program and a return to the Skilled Worker Immigration and Canadian Experience Class program that existed before January 1, 2015. The Skilled Worker program was so popular that it soon became over-burdoned—with a backlog lasting over eight years—rendering it unsuccessful only in that it couldn’t serve everyone that it attracted.While it effectively stirred up interest with quality immigrants the program, according to its critics, should be maintained with quotas for each skilled worker category to banish the likelihood of future backlog problems.
International students who have been educated in Canada, and already have Canadian work experience, are natural candidates for permanent residency.
So why, as critics, shouldn’t the program stand alone, apart from the Express Entry program, so applicants dont have to compete for permanent residence to Canada?
Additionally, here’s a brief highlight of changes to immigration laws based on speeches given by members of the Liberal party, leading up to and since the recent election.
Specific promises that have been made recently include the following:
1. The number of applications allowed for the sponsorship of parents and grandparents will double to 10,000 per year. Additionally, the budget for processing family class applications will be increased to lower processing times.
2. There will be greater access to applicants who have Canadian siblings.
3. The maximum age for dependents will be restored to 22 (it is currently 18).
4. The government promises to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada before the end of 2015—a process that has been started as of the date of this publication.
5. Refugees will once again be eligible for medical coverage.
6. Barriers to allowing international students to become permanent residents will be removed.
November 27, 2015
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November 26, 2015
Statistics Canada has reported that 44,400 jobs were added to the Canadian economy in October, bringing the unemployment rate down to 7 percent. Positive news is always welcome, but this is particularly well-timed because the Canadian economy remains shaky after spending the first six months of the year in recession because of tumbling oil prices as well as other serious issues.
However, it is important to note that this should not result in too much enthusiasm, which can be as bad as too little. For starters, 9,000 out of the 44,400 jobs were full-time positions, meaning that the remaining 35,400 jobs were part-time positions. Furthermore, 32,000 out of the 44,400 jobs were in public administration, meaning it is probable that most of them are temporary, part-time positions added for the purpose of holding the federal election.
Still, an increase of more than 12,000 permanent jobs is a respectable figure, seeing as how it is in line with previous increases in August and September. Consistent increases in three consecutive months means that this can be considered a trend, which bodes well for the continuing health of the Canadian economy. Better still, wages have increased as well by 3.1 percent when measured using a year-on-year basis, meaning that people are actually gaining more purchasing power because inflation remains flat at 1 percent.
Finally, for those interested in following the jobs, it should be noted that Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, and New Brunswick were the provinces that benefited, whereas Alberta actually saw a loss of 11,000 jobs.