RCC calls on Government of Canada to reconsider changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

Retail Council of Canada is a member of a Coalition that has issued an Open Letter to Ministers Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, on December 8th at 11:00 a.m.

Coalition members include: Retail Council of Canada, Restaurants Canada, Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

In consultation with its members, RCC is particularly focussed on the following three points within the Coalition’s recommendations:

  • Select RCC members use the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to ensure business continuity – in very specific situations. For example, in overheated markets such as Fort McMurray, local labour, especially for entry-level positions, is simply not available. To ensure that stores remain open to serve the public, it is imperative that retailers have access to an alternate source of labour.
    • The Coalition is calling for a national labour study of market needs in lower skilled occupational categories – especially in overheated markets.
    • Conduct a comprehensive survey of unemployed Canadians to better understand mobility restrictions and willingness to work varied hours and in various sectors.
  • RCC strongly supports the Coalition’s call for the Government to maintain the 30% cap of temporary foreign workers indefinitely. Dropping the cap to 20% in 2015 and 10% in 2016 will mean that there are simply not enough employees to cover off the basic operational requirements of running a store. An unintended consequence of these changes could be that businesses are simply no longer able to stay open.
  • RCC strongly supports the proposed Code of Conduct for Employers of TFWs. The Code would outline the many responsibilities that employers have agreed to when using the program. Employers would be responsible to provide a signed document to both the worker and government. The document could outline areas such as:
    • Information about the promised wages, benefits and working conditions;
    • Details of any employer-provided accommodation, including the standards that are to be met.
    • A clear internal dispute resolution process for employers and employees with a pathway to government or immigrant service agencies for unresolved issues; and
    • The ability to switch employers if the obligations are not met.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact: Susie Grynol, VP, Federal Government Relations at [email protected] or 613-656-7901.

Read the Open Letter to Ministers Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration here.