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Reforming the Temporary Foreign Worker Program: the city’s businesses need to quickly and easily access foreign workers

Montréal, June 2, 2016 – On the occasion of consultations on the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal calls once again upon the federal government to review the program, in collaboration with the government of Quebec, in order to adapt it to the economic and demographic challenges facing Quebec and Montréal.

“Businesses in Greater Montréal must deal with a smaller labour pool and a very competitive business environment that is marked by constant technological change and ever shorter project cycles. To remain competitive and sustainable, our businesses must be able to count on a seasonal and specialized workforce that is available when companies undertake projects,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

Facilitating the access to specialized, strategic temporary foreign workers is essential for our growing sectors

“Most of the city’s key sectors, including the video game industry, must deal with fierce competition when attracting talent and are faced with the challenge of finding workers with very specific skills. The federal government must allow these sectors to quickly hire foreign temporary workers, notably by lifting the requirement of presenting transition plans and by respecting payroll confidentiality in highly competitive sectors,” added Michel Leblanc.

Allow for more flexibility to hire seasonal and low-skilled temporary foreign workers

“Low-skilled workers are also necessary for the sustainability of numerous sectors, including ones whose activities are seasonal or whose goods or services are in high demand. The government must make it easier to access these workers and, among other things, remove the restriction of relying on the program when the number of temporary foreign workers represents more than 10% of a company’s workforce. We also encourage the government to once again make work permits valid for a renewable two-year period in this category,” said Michel Leblanc.
Lighten the administrative load and make retaining temporary workers easier

“The length of time needed to obtain work permits for temporary foreign workers, along with the complex and difficult processes associated with the program, discourages businesses and limits access to this workforce category. The government must shorten processing delays, review the program’s parameters, and set more reasonable rates to allow companies to benefit from the program and better meet their labour needs,” stated Michel Leblanc.

“Finally, the government must make it easier for a temporary foreign worker to become a permanent resident. These workers are a strategic group for immigration because they are already employed in Quebec and it is easier for our employers to recognize their skills,” concluded Michel Leblanc.

The brief tabled by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal can be viewed here.


About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration, and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to businesses of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.


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Guillaume Bérubé
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Phone: 514 871-4000, extension 4042

Twitter: @chambremontreal
Follow the discussion: #ccmmqcca

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