Another change that will slow down the growing number of temporary foreign workers who have been coming to Canada in recent years is the suspension of the accelerated process for obtaining a LMO. The LMO is also being changed to include new questions to ensure that no Canadian workers will be displaced by hiring foreign workers. The government is also increasing its authority to suspend or revoke permits for employers or workers if it feels the program is being misused.
"This will give us the flexibility to respond to emerging situations and when necessary take immediate action against those who don't follow the rules," said Kenney.
A further change to the rules proposed Monday is that English and French are the only languages that can be stated as part of a job's requirements. Kenney said his government has taken quick and decisive action to respond to concerns about the program and he acknowledged that some companies will be opposed to the changes.
"This will affect their businesses but we're sending them a message that I think Canadians want us to send: do everything you can to find Canadians first," he said.
A number of changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program were announced in April by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. The program is jointly managed by his department and by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
The expected changes came after the use of foreign workers by Royal Bank sparked public outrage and brought renewed focus on the temporary foreign worker program. The controversy consumed Parliament Hill and had the government defending the program but also promising changes to it so that it is not abused.
Kenney said the government is responding to concerns about how the program is being used and is making changes to ensure that Canadians get the first crack at available jobs.
One of the key changes is a new fee that will be imposed on employers when they apply to the government for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). A positive Labour Market Opinion must be obtained in order for employers to bring foreign workers to Canada. It takes a number of factors into consideration including what potential benefits hiring the foreign workers would have on the labour market and what efforts were made to hire Canadian workers for the positions.
Some work categories are exempt from the LMO requirement. Professionals and business people, for example, who come to Canada as part of international agreements or workers who come as part of an exchange program do not need a LMO
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