The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce believes that recent changes made by the federal government to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) will increase hiring costs and create additional red tape for Canadian businesses.
“Saskatchewan businesses would certainly agree that it would be ideal if all employers could hire locally to fill available jobs, but that is just not possible with the current labour conditions in Saskatchewan, so we have to look to immigration in order to keep our economy growing,” said Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce CEO Steve McLellan.
“With these changes making it more difficult to bring in workers through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, some businesses will just not be able to find the people that they need,” continued McLellan.
According to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, most of the companies using temporary foreign workers are small businesses that cannot afford to wait to find the appropriate workers and do not have many options for training. Nor can they pay higher wages to persuade Canadians to relocate.
The Sask Chamber has been working with the Government of Saskatchewan to encourage Ottawa to make changes to the immigration system that will help Saskatchewan’s businesses attract workers. Raising the cap on the Provincial Nominee Program, relocating Labour Market Opinion processing back to Saskatchewan from Vancouver, and transferring federal administrative responsibility for settlement and integration programs to Saskatchewan are some of the items that the Chamber has been advocating for.
“While we certainly understand that the labour market in eastern Canada is currently a lot different than here in the west, that is simply not a good reason to make changes to federal programs that directly limit the ability of western businesses to operate and expand," concluded McLellan.