Program expected to help fill Ontario labour needs

Ottawa is expanding the temporary foreign worker program into Ontario to help fill the province’s labour needs, a move some fear could further hurt already underutilized and underpaid skilled immigrants.

Immigration Minister Diane Finley announced yesterday the opening of the program’s two new offices in Toronto and Moncton, N.B., in addition to the three already established in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal.


"Employers across Canada now have a dedicated point of service where they can get help getting the workers they need," Finley said in a statement. "The units will help make the process easier for employers, and will help strengthen local and regional economies."

The foreign worker program has been around for decades, originally designed to attract elite professionals and specific low-skilled labourers, such as live-in caregivers and agricultural workers. It has grown exponentially in the last couple of years to also include low-skilled foreign workers, especially in Alberta’s rest- aurants, hospitality, oil sands and construction industry.

overseas workers

  • Last year, Canada took in 125,000 temporary overseas workers — a 32 per cent increase from five years ago.

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