A Labour & Employment Law Update
The Canadian government announced the expansion of its temporary foreign worker pilot program last week. The Expedited Labour Market Opinion Pilot Project (E-LMO) was put in place in September 2007 with the goal of alleviating worker shortages and making it faster and easier for employers to hire foreign workers in high demand occupations in Alberta and British Columbia.
In order for an employer to hire a foreign worker, they must apply to Service Canada for a Labour Market Opinion to assess the impact of the entry of foreign workers on Canadian jobs. For employers that qualify to participate in the E-LMO project, completed applications for Labour Market Opinions will be expedited and processed within 5 days – a significant improvement from the up to 5 months wait time for non-qualifying employers.
This alleviates much of the wait time for employers in high demand occupations, allowing them to benefit from faster and easier access to the temporary foreign workers they require.
The eligible occupations in the original pilot project were mainly in the areas of health care, hospitality, and construction. With the expansion, the list now includes more occupations in the construction sector, as well as manufacturing, engineering, maintenance, sales, and service sectors.
The pilot project is scheduled to run until September 2008 at which point the Canadian government will assess the success of the initiative.
Following is the complete list of occupations in the E-LMO Pilot Project (the new occupations have an asterisk):
- Civil Engineers*
- Commercial Janitors and Caretakers*
- Construction Labourers*
- Courier Drivers*
- Crane Operators
- Dental Technicians
- Electrical and Electronics Engineers*
- Food and Beverage Servers
- Food Counter Attendants
- Food Service Supervisors*
- Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics*
- Hotel Front Desk Clerks
- Hotel and Hospitality Room Attendants
- Industrial Electricians*
- Industrial Meat Cutters*
- Manufacturing and Processing Labourers*
- Mechanical Engineers*
- Mechanical Engineering Technologists*
- Petroleum Engineers*
- Registered Nurses
- Residential Cleaning and Support Workers*
- Retail Sales Persons and Sales Clerks
- Snowboard and Ski Instructors
- Specialized Cleaners*
- Steamfitters and Pipefitters*
- Surveyor Helpers*
- Tour and Travel Guides
This update is a general overview of the subject matter and cannot be regarded as legal advice. Please contact Hugh McPhail at firstname.lastname@example.org, Tom Ross at email@example.com, Glenn Tait at firstname.lastname@example.org, or any member of our Labour & Employment Practice Group for advice on this or any other labour & employment law topic.