Canada Announces Reduction in Temporary Foreign Workers Intake

Canadian officials have revealed plans to cut down the intake of temporary foreign workers over the next three years, aiming to reduce the number of temporary residents to five per cent of the national population.
This decision, unveiled on Thursday, seeks to address concerns raised by some Canadian provinces regarding the strain on housing and public services due to the influx of migrants.
The move comes as part of a broader initiative by the federal government to manage the country’s immigration system more sustainably.
Ottawa intends to solidify these targets following consultations with the provinces, signaling a coordinated effort to tackle the challenges posed by high immigration levels.
Starting May 1, Ottawa will impose restrictions on temporary foreign worker permits, limiting new permits for international students and introducing visa requirements for some Mexican travellers.
Immigration Minister Marc Miller, speaking at a news conference, highlighted the surge in temporary residents in recent years, attributing it to various factors such as the global increase in international students and the need for foreign workers to fill job vacancies.
However, with Canada’s job market facing tighter conditions and population growth outpacing job creation, adjustments to the immigration system have become imperative.
Job vacancies in Canada experienced a 3.6 percent decline to 678,500 in the final quarter of 2023, continuing a downward trend from a peak of 983,600 in the second quarter of 2022.
“Changes are needed to make the system more efficient and more sustainable,” stated Miller, underscoring the necessity of the new measures.
Employment Minister Randy Boissonnault encouraged employers to prioritize hiring refugees over seeking temporary foreign workers.
As part of the reform, businesses previously permitted to have up to 30 per cent of their workforce composed of temporary foreign workers will now have to reduce this proportion to 20 per cent, with exceptions made for the healthcare and construction sectors.
Moreover, Miller has directed Canada’s immigration department to review existing programs facilitating the entry of temporary laborers.
The aim is to realign these programs with the nation’s labor market needs and eliminate any abuses, marking a comprehensive approach to managing immigration amid evolving economic and social landscapes.
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