In February, the federal government announced it would conduct a full review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) with completion in Fall 2016. The review will begin in May, and although the government has not provided clarification on the scope of the review, there will be an opportunity for British Columbians perspective to be presented to the committee. ICBA will engage with you when these opportunities arise. For now, there are some recent developments you should be aware of.

One-time waiver of 10% cap on TFWs

In June 2014, the federal government capped the percentage of low-wage TFWs an employer can have at a work site. Originally, this cap was 30 per cent, and will fall to 10 per cent on July 1, 2016. They have also announced that employers in seasonal industries hiring TFWs in low-wage seasonal positions of 180 days or less are not subject to this cap. The government has also confirmed that this waiver applies to all seasonal industries across Canada. Employers can use this exemption once per work location, for applications to hire TFWs received on or after Feb. 19, 2016, and no later than Dec. 31, 2016. For more information on this waiver, click here.

Francophone exemption from labour market impact assessment (LMIA)

Another announcement from the federal government is a new stream of the International Mobility Program (IMP) that aims to attract newcomers to francophone communities outside of Quebec (more information here). The IMP is the umbrella program for a variety of foreign workers not requiring an LMIA. A LMIA is a verification process where the federal government assesses employment offers to ensure a TFW will not negatively affect the Canadian labour market. The new francophone program launches June 1, 2016, and exempts employers from the LMIA process when they hire francophone workers in managerial, professionals, and technical/skilled trades occupations from abroad in minority francophone communities (outside of Quebec). All British Columbia communities fall under this definition. This exemption is of interest for any employers considering a francophone employees.

If there are any more developments on these programs, or new programs that may benefit you or your company, ICBA will be inform you.

If you wish to discuss these topics, please contact us at