Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program is now facing a legal challenge by a Labrador business couple.
The program, introduced in its reformed version in June by Employment and Social Development Minister Jason Kenney, includes the Labour Market Opinion clause which forces employers to obtain government permission to hire foreign workers. Non-compliance of this rule can lead to a $100,000 fine and possible blacklisting for business owners (which means they cannot apply for work permits for new foreign employees).
The Labrador couple, owners of several franchises, have recently found themselves on the government blacklist, which has sparked the legal challenge.
Their complaint includes several accusations against the policies of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, including lack of reasons as to why their company was blacklisted, no warning that their company name would be listed in the public domain and not giving the couple a chance to defend their case. The couple also claims the changes were not announced in due time to allow them to adjust their procedures.
Concern is growing that Kenney’s changes may deter would-be immigrants from using the program, thus reducing responses to the government’s efforts to fill an ever-increasing skills shortage in the country.