As the federal government continues to make changes to Canada’s immigration and citizenship policies, some high-profile areas are getting extra attention. The foreign worker program, increasing Canada’s francophone population and refugees are all areas of particular focus for the feds these days. Maynard Kischer Stojicevic partners Rudolf Kischer and Alex Stojicevic talked about these and more with host Zack Spencer on the latest episode of CISL 650’s The Law Show.
Recently, Ottawa tasked a government committee with reviewing the foreign worker program. The Human Resources Skills and Social Development and Status of Persons with Disabilities committee — or the HUMA committee — made 21 recommendations that government is now using to guide legislation.
“Their recommendations are all over the map,” says Alex. “The points of view that were represented were, ‘hey this program isn’t working to get us the foreign workers we need’, as well as, ‘hey, I’m representing foreign workers being exploited by these employers — the program doesn’t work in terms of enforcement.’ So, you have too much enforcement, too restrictive, as well as not enough enforcement, not protective of workers.”
Video one: HUMA Report
One aspect of the foreign worker program tackled in the HUMA recommendations is the challenge some foreign workers, like caregivers, have getting permanent residency.
“The problem with this temporary foreign worker program the way it was set up is you’re going to have these low-skilled workers that are here, but don’t have a path to permanent residency,” says Rudolf.
“There’s no question that since November 2014, it’s been much harder to bring a caregiver to Canada. And that’s because the pathways for caregivers to get to permanent residence are now restricted,” says Alex. “As a result, there are a lot of recommendations aimed at facilitating again the nanny program.”
Video two: Recommendations from the HUMA Report
French-speaking foreign workers are actually seeing fewer challenges thanks to the French Mobility Program, which exempts employers from having to complete labour market impact assessment if their foreign employees are francophone.
“It’s favouritism without question,” says Alex. “But the policy decision behind it is that one one of the goals of the federal government is to promote and enhance the francophone fabric of the rest of Canada.”
“Usually we’re getting a call from an employer that’s saying, ‘I want to hire this guy.’ My first question now is always, does he speak French?” explains Rudolf.
Video three: French mobility program
On the topic of refugees, government may be going beyond their initial commitment to bring in 25,000 Syrians as private sponsor groups show more interest in helping.
“With all the interest that was created with individuals that come forward to step up and actually sponsor refugees…the government has extended the program and made it a lot easier to sponsor, in particular, Syrian refugees,” explains Rudolf, speaking from personal experience as a sponsor through his church.
Video four: Refugee update
For more on how Alex, Rudolf and the rest of MKS Immigration and Citizenship Law can help you, book a consultation today in three easy steps: choosing a practice area, completing a simple five-minute form, and waiting no more than two business days for MKS to get in touch.
The Law Show airs every Sunday at 11:00 am on CISL 690.
To listen to the complete audio interview, click the play button below left.
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