The Weyburn and District Chamber of Commerce has reviewed the Government of Canada's new overhaul of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and is disappointed at the lack of respect the new program shows for business.
"We've been working hard on this file and we've submitted multiple submissions to the federal government, but it seems as though the government is prepared to dismantle the program," said
Chamber Manager Jeff Richards. "For many businesses in Weyburn, this will make staffing their operations harder than ever, and the Chamber is very concerned for the well-being of those businesses and the people who work in them."
The overhaul includes a new Labour Market Impact Assessment fee on applications of $1,000 per employee, up from $275.
It also includes reducing the period of time a TFW may work in Canada and restricting the number of TFWs in an individual workplace to a maximum of 10 per cent.
"The changes announced reflect a public policy decision made without sufficient facts or hard labour market data. This is a reaction to political pressures not reality. Businesses in all Saskatchewan industries have worked diligently to attract and retain Canadian workers and even with greatly enhanced efforts, the need for more workers exist in all sectors and in all regions of the province. The policy change today makes a difficult situation even worse," said Steve McLellan, CEO, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.
These changes, among others, make the program ineffective and will force business to alter their operations to deal with the labour shortage.
"The next steps for the chamber will be to meet again with our Member of Parliament, Ed Komarnicki, to discuss what other avenues the federal government can suggest. In addition we will be meeting with our MLA to voice our concerns, and we will continue to work with chambers across Saskatchewan to seek solutions," said Richards.