Canada to Implement Key Measures to Address Labor Shortages

Cover Image Attribute: The file photo of a Sikh farmer in Richmond, Vancouver yielding to the crop of cranberries. / Source: Anton Bielousov...

Cover Image Attribute: The Sikh farmers in Richmond, Vancouver yielding to the crop of cranberries. / Source: Anton Bielousov
Cover Image Attribute: The file photo of a Sikh farmer in Richmond, Vancouver yielding to the crop of cranberries. / Source: Anton Bielousov

As Canada and countries around the world respond to the pandemic, key sectors in the economy continue to need more workers to build a strong workforce. This is particularly true in Quebec where the province continues to experience long-standing workforce recruitment challenges.


Today, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, highlighted important progress made on the implementation of its pilot project with the Government of Quebec. This progress includes the implementation of the increased maximum number of TFWs allowed in low-wage positions that employers in specific sectors can hire, as designated by Quebec. Effective today, those employers can hire up to 20% (an increase of 10% for the majority of them).


"A critical part of Canada's economic recovery and long-term growth is a strong workforce. That's why our government is updating the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to help address labor shortages in Quebec immediately. We will always work closely with provinces and territories to meet the needs of employers across the country." Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion


"Quebec employers in the agri-food industry have been hit very hard by the labor shortage. Developed in close collaboration between Ottawa and Quebec, this pilot project will allow businesses to recruit more temporary foreign workers and reduce the pressure on their operations." - Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau


This announcement also builds on flexibilities to existing advertising and recruitment requirements for specific in-demand occupations, as designated by Quebec, that was implemented on December 6, 2021.


The occupations and sectors selected by Quebec for pilot measures have been identified following consultations with labor market stakeholders part of the Commission des Partenaires du Marché du Travail. This was done to ensure that measures included in this pilot project are representative of labor market needs in the province and do not displace opportunities for Canadian workers.


In the coming months, the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec, in consultation with Quebec labor market partners, will also be adding to the list of occupations that are currently benefiting from a simpler process to hire TFWs.


When first announced on August 6, 2021, this pilot project was intended to run until December 31, 2023. On November 30, 2021, the Government of Canada agreed to extend the program until December 31, 2024. At the conclusion of the pilot project, the Government of Canada will evaluate outcomes to help inform its future decisions.


Alongside launching these new pilot measures, ESDC is also working to rebuild the TFW compliance regime to help better protect TFWs in the future. Ongoing activities to strengthen ESDC's risk-based approach to target higher risk employers include:


  • Enhancing TFW inspection tools and mandatory training to strengthen the quality and timeliness of inspections;
  • Continuing to leverage its tip line service, allowing workers to flag any situation of abuse or misuse of the program in a confidential manner;
  • Continuing to raise employers' awareness of their obligations to foster compliance with the TFW Program's conditions; and,
  • Expanding the concierge service with consulates, which helps ESDC to identify concerns that need immediate attention.


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IndraStra Global: Canada to Implement Key Measures to Address Labor Shortages
Canada to Implement Key Measures to Address Labor Shortages
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