On April 24, 2014, during a time of almost daily media reports of employers abusing the temporary foreign worker program (TFWP), CBC News released audio of a leaked internal McDonald’s Canada telephone conference in which its chief executive officer stated “… the fact of the matter is we’re a big bad company … and these poor maligned employees … yes they are disenfranchised, some of them don’t work for us anymore, but you know, in the scheme of things, it doesn’t matter … Here’s the kicker … there’s an element of truth in each one of these stories.”
Within an hour of the CBC airing these comments, Jason Kenney, minister of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), hastily announced that the entire food service sector was, with a few exceptions, temporarily barred from the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) program pending a review of the entire TFWP. On June 20, 2014, Minister Kenney lifted his moratorium, and at the same time announced an overhaul of the TFWP. The changes are significant, and will impact all employers of temporary foreign workers.
The LMO has been renamed the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The recruitment requirements for the LMIA remain the same as with the LMO. Employers will continue to have to show that no qualified Canadians applied for the positions for which they are seeking TFWs.
However, unlike with the LMO program, where employers simply had to attest to complying with recruitment requirements, the LMIA will require that employers state the number of Canadians that applied for positions, the number of Canadians that were interviewed, and explanations for why those who applied were not hired…