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Statement by the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development

OTTAWA, April 6, 2014 /CNW/ - "Our Government will not tolerate any abuse of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Any employer found to have broken the rules will face serious consequences. Our message to employers is clear and unequivocal - Canadians must always be first in line for available jobs.

"On April 3, 2014, I became aware of very serious allegations that a McDonald's franchise owner in Victoria, British Columbia broke the rules of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. I immediately ordered my officials to begin an urgent investigation to determine the facts.

"Within 24 hours of becoming aware of these allegations, inspectors from my department did an on-site inspection at the location in Victoria and I suspended all labour market opinions and work permits in process for this franchise pending the outcome of the investigation. The labour market opinions and work permits were suspended as I have reasonable grounds to believe that this employer provided Employment and Social Development Canada with false, misleading or inaccurate information.

"If the investigation determines that this franchise owner broke the rules of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, I will permanently revoke their existing labour market opinions, and prevent the employer from hiring more temporary foreign workers.

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  • Background on Reforms to Ensure Canadians are First in Line for Available Jobs

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Background on Reforms to Ensure Canadians are First in Line for Available Jobs

  • The authority to conduct on-site inspections to make sure employers are meeting the conditions of the program.
  • The ability to ban non-compliant employers from the program for two years and immediately add their names to a public "black list".
  • Requiring employers who legitimately rely on TFWs, due to a lack of qualified Canadian applicants, have a plan to transition to a Canadian workforce over time.
  • Requiring employers pay temporary foreign workers at the prevailing wage by removing the existing wage flexibility.
  • Adding questions to employer LMO applications to ensure that the TFWP is not used to facilitate the outsourcing of Canadian jobs.
  • Introducing fees for employers for LMO processing, and increased the fees for work permits, so that hard-working taxpayers are no longer subsidizing these costs.
  • Making English and French the only languages that can be used as a job requirement when hiring through the TFW process.
  • Suspending the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion process.
  • Introducing legislative authority to impose significant financial penalties for employers who break the rules.

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

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