Changes to the TFWP - 2017

In September 2016, the federal government released a Committee report (“Report”) calling for an overhaul to the TFWP (view the Report here). The Report recommends:

  • Work permits for lower wage caregivers be extended from one to two years.
  • Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) get a more streamlined process (read more about LMIAs here).
  • The various “streams” that make up the TFWP be restructured (read more about the current streams here). 
  • A change to the system by which migrants are brought into Canada, thus preventing the use of the TFWP to satisfy permanent labour needs.
  • Significant changes to (or elimination of) Transition Plans for employers hiring high wage TFWs (read more about transition plans here).
  • Increasing the cap on low-wage temporary foreign workers from 10% to 20%.
  • Improving the quality of labour market data and reassessing the geographic zones used to determine unemployment rates.
  • Eliminating the need for work permits to be employer specific.
  • Providing pathways to permanent residence for migrant workers filling permanent labour needs.
  • Shedding the complaint-driven model of enforcement.
  • Establishing a dispute resolution mechanism for migrant workers when conflict with an employer arises.
  • Guaranteeing that any workplace injuries that require immediate attention be granted emergency care where deemed necessary in Canada.

Some of these recommendations (for example, those related employer-specific work permits and those related to monitoring and enforcement) address longstanding human rights concerns with the TFWP.  These changes, if adopted, would reduce the significant power imbalance that exists between a Canadian employer and a TFW in Canada on a work permit.

It is expected that further changes to the TFWP will be made in 2017, and that this Report will guide those changes. As of May 2017, no such action has been taken. Stay tuned to our website for updates on changes to the TFWP.