HRSDC introduced new national advertising requirements for all occupations in all regions, simplifying the steps to navigate before employers can apply to hire a temporary foreign worker.
In addition, an online LMO application system was introduced to reduce the processing time and to facilitate communications among the federal partners involved.
CIC increased the maximum period of validity of work permits issued to lower-skilled workers. Work permits issued to these workers can now be issued for up to two years whereas lower-skilled workers were previously required to reapply after one year. The change acknowledged that employers often needed such workers for longer than one year and provided greater stability for them as well as the workers themselves.
HRSDC introduced the Expedited Labour Market Opinion (E-LMO) Pilot Project in Alberta and B.C. to provide expedited LMO processing to employers seeking to hire temporary foreign workers in 12 (later, 33) high-demand occupations. Participating employers agreed to a review of their compliance with the rules of the pilot at a later date. HRSDC completed approximately 250 compliance reviews under the pilot. While most employers were ultimately found to be compliant, approximately 30 of them were denied service as a result of non-compliance with the program’s rules.
Building on the E-LMO pilot project, HRSDC launched the monitoring initiative to encourage employers to demonstrate compliance, on a voluntary basis, with the terms of their offers of employment to TFWs.
HRSDC limited the period in which the authorization to hire a foreign worker (an LMO) remained valid. Employers now had to use the LMO within six months of the date it was issued or apply for a new LMO. This ensured that when employers were authorized to hire a foreign worker, the LMO was based on analysis of current labour market conditions so that hiring a foreign worker does not have a negative impact on the Canadian labour market.