Employment and Social Development Canada ("ESDC") has
announced that the following changes to the Temporary Foreign
Worker Program ("TFWP") will be effective
Implementation of new High and Low-wage Streams ESDC will only compare the wages offered by employers to
the provincial/territorial median hourly wage when identifying the
specific requirements employers must meet under the TFWP. Employers
offering a wage to a temporary foreign worker ("TFW")
that is below the provincial/territorial median hourly wage will
need to meet the requirements of the Stream for Low-wage Positions.
Employers offering a wage at or above median hourly wage will be
required to meet the requirements of the Stream for High-wage
The latest provincial/territorial median hourly wages based on
the 2014 Labour Force Survey results will be used by the TFWP. The
updated Alberta hourly median wage is $25.00 per hour (up from
$24.23 per hour based on 2013 data). The top 10% of wages earned by
Canadians or permanent residents in Alberta is $47.60 per hour and
above (down from $48.08 per hour in 2013).
Increasing Worker Protections The protections that were in place for the Low-skill
Stream will now be applied to the new Stream for Low-wage
Positions, increasing the number of positions impacted. This means
that employers offering a wage that is below the
provincial/territorial median hourly wage ($25.00 in Alberta)
Pay for round-trip transportation for the TFW;
Ensure affordable housing is available;
Pay for private health insurance until workers are eligible for
provincial health coverage;
Register the TFW with the provincial/territorial workplace
safety board; and
Provide an employer-employee contract.
Modifying the Method for Calculating the Cap on Low-wage
Positions As a result of feedback from employers, a new simplified
way to calculate the cap will be introduced. The cap will be based
on the number of full-time and part-time positions at a specific
work location (instead of the total number of hours worked).
Updating Regions of Refusal to Process The 2014 Labour Force Survey results will be used to
assess unemployment rates. Employers in economic regions that have
an unemployment rate of 6% or higher will continue to be ineligible
to submit Labour Market Impact Assessments ("LMIAs") for
low-wage occupations in the Accommodation and Food Services and
Retail Trade sectors. Currently, Alberta remains below the 6%
unemployment rate. Given its unique labour market conditions, an
exception will be made for positions in these sectors located in
Yellowknife, notwithstanding the 7.9% unemployment rate for the
Employers Hiring for Positions Located in Quebec The reforms to the TFWP that were announced in June 2014,
will now be implemented for employers hiring TFWs for positions
located in Québec.
LMIA Application Forms It should be noted that
effective April 30, 2015, new LMIA application forms have been
implemented in order to reflect the changes to the TFWP highlighted
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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