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Senior Advisor

Canada to cut number of foreign workers

Guess there aren't that many jobs Canadians won't do. We need to ship them some Honduran kids.




The Canadian government announced sweeping plans to make it harder for companies to hire temporary workers from abroad, in a move that businesses in the country's resource-rich west have said will curb their ability to grow.

The Canadian public has often criticized the popular temporary foreign worker program as a way for companies to replace locals with cheap foreign labor, something the Canadian government has sought to address at a time when it has also been overhauling an immigration system long seen as a global benchmark.

Among the changes to the program, under which foreign workers are brought in to temporarily fill vacancies, Ottawa is curbing the overall number of such workers, halving the time they can spend here and making an application more expensive.

The temporary foreign worker program—which officials said is used by about 25,000 employers—is particularly popular in Western Canada, where unemployment is low and businesses say it is difficult to find Canadians to fill lower-paying jobs, from truck drivers to laborers.




For decades, Canada has been seen around the world as a country that attracts large numbers of foreign workers and immigrants and largely succeeds in integrating them into wider society. But in recent years, Canadians have begun to complain more, while statistics show that incoming generations of immigrants are faring less well in job markets than preceding waves, compared with locals. With this in mind, Mr. Kenney has led a revamp of the system, implementing stricter language and placing tougher qualification demands on applicants than before.