Lexpert Magazine

October 2017

Lexpert magazine features articles and columns on developments in legal practice management, deals and lawsuits of interest in Canada, the law and business issues of interest to legal professionals and businesses that purchase legal services.

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56 LEXPERT MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2017 IN-HOUSE ADVISOR to Entry Abuse of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program prompted a backlash that led to stricter rules around hiring foreign talent. Now a new federal program is promising a much quicker, streamlined process BY BRIAN BURTON ILLUSTRATION BY DAVID SENIOR Fewer Barriers RECRUITING FOREIGN WORKERS is big business and many firms in Canada have lawyers dedicated to helping clients navigate the oen Byzantine application process. In June, Ottawa announced a new strategy to speed the flow of workers from overseas, but immigration lawyers are taking a wait-and-see stance. Year in and year out, temporary foreign workers help power the Canadian economy, pro- viding both rarefied talents for specialized jobs and willing hands for unskilled labour. Be- tween 2010 and 2014, Statistics Canada says more than 578,000 foreign workers came here to fill jobs of every kind — from the C-suites of Toronto and Calgary to the seafood process- ing plants of Atlantic Canada and the ski lis of British Columbia. Allowing for those returning home each year, foreign workers likely amounted to a fairly modest 2.3 per cent of the 19-million-plus Canadian workforce from 2010 to 2014. Or, to see it another way, the peak in imported workers was equal in number to about one-third of all unemployed Canadians at the time. By 2010, Statistics Canada says, only 36 per cent of foreign workers were classified as "highly skilled" and therefore hard to find in sufficient numbers within Canada. e other 64 per cent — as many as 290,000 — were working in less-skilled, run-of-the-mill jobs for which, allegedly, companies could find no Canadian takers. It was this scenario — and a few employers attracting headlines regarding Ottawa's Tem- porary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) — that led Auditor General Michael Ferguson to file his report this past spring. Lax enforcement of rules allowed some companies to use the TFWP as a business model. Some of the companies citing chronic labour shortages

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