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CFIB proposes path to permanent residency to replace Temporary Foreign Worker Program MB

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Time to take the “temporary” out of the temporary foreign worker program

Winnipeg, May 18, 2016 – The Canadian dream shouldn’t require a PhD – it’s time to open a pathway to permanent residency for Canada’s temporary foreign workers (TFWs). That was the central message delivered by Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) senior vice president of national affairs and partnerships, Corinne Pohlmann, in a presentation this afternoon to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

“Canada was built by people who took a chance on coming here, worked hard and made a new life for themselves and their families. It’s time to open those opportunities again,” said Pohlmann. “The truth is while business owners would rather hire locally – there’s a lot less paperwork involved and it’s far less costly – Canadians just aren’t lining up for the positions these employers need filled. The TFW program is often the only option that keeps these businesses running. Business owners should have access to the labour, and the workers should be rewarded for providing it with access to permanent residency and, ultimately, citizenship.”

CFIB welcomes the new government’s review of the TFW program after the program was gutted under the previous government.

Pohlmann urged the committee to implement the following measures to help small businesses and temporary foreign workers:

  • Allow a pathway to permanent residency for all TFWs, including those in lower-skilled/entry-level categories, by creating an Introduction to Canada Visa or expanding the “Express Entry” system to include lower-skilled/entry level workers
  • Create a TFW Bill of Rights
  • Provide stricter enforcement instead of more rules
  • Take a more reasonable approach to fees
  • Review all federal government programs and policies related to workforce training

“Canada needs workers of all skill sets. There needs to be more attention in our immigration system placed on bringing people in based on the needs of the economy,” added Pohlmann. “Offering all TFWs the opportunity to stay and help build our country on a permanent basis will only strengthen our economy.”

To arrange an interview with Corinne Pohlmann, please contact Ryan Mallough at 416-222-8022, 647-464-2814 or [email protected].

To arrange an interview with Elliot Sims, Director, Provincial Affairs, Manitoba please contact 204-982-0817, 1-888-234-2232 or email [email protected]. You can also follow CFIB Manitoba on Twitter @cfibMB.

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members (4,800 in Manitoba) across every sector and region.