Work Abroad in Canada

Temporary Moratorium on Certain Work Permit Issuances

The Minister of Employment and Social Development, Jason Kenney, recently announced that a temporary moratorium has been placed on the issuance of Labour Market Opinions (LMOs) to employers seeking to hire workers in the food service industry.

The decision to institute a moratorium came as the result of recent widespread allegations of fraud in the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program. Most recently, McDonald’s Canada announced that it would be suspending recruitment of temporary foreign workers in response to a government investigation.

The Decision

Effective April 25, 2014, LMOs will no longer be processed for a wide range of occupations. The occupations largely fall within the fields of food service and hospitality. In order to be ineligible for an LMO, the intended employee must fall under one of the following occupations and intend to work in the food service industry. The occupations are as follows:

Minister Kenney has expressed that the moratorium will remain in place at least until the department that oversees foreign workers, Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC), is able to finish an investigation into alleged abuses.

In recent months, a number of public allegations have been levied against certain Canadian employers in the food service industry. These employers have been accused of various offenses, such as replacing Canadian workers with temporary foreign workers, hiring abroad instead of within Canada, and mistreating foreign workers in their employ.

One story that made national headlines centered on a restaurant in Saskatchewan. A long-time waitress claimed that she and many of her fellow employees were let go after years of service, while their foreign colleagues retained their jobs. This accusation prompted a special investigation from ESDC, and served to highlight challenges that Canada’s temporary work program is facing throughout the country.

“Abuse of the Temporary Foreign Worker program will not be tolerated, ” said Minister Kenney. “Our government will continue to pursue significant reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker program to ensure that employers make greater efforts to recruit and train Canadians and that it is only used as a last and limited resort when Canadians are not available.”

Controversy over the Moratorium

Some employers and provincial officials have already spoken out against the temporary moratorium. Many claim that Canada’s food industry, which relies heavily on foreign workers, will be unfairly affected by the ban.

U.S Citizen working in Canada. How difficult?

by foobaz

I have an opportunity to live in Canada (Alberta, to be specific) and work for a company there. I am not worried about getting in as I definitely qualify for the position. However, I have never worked abroad and can't assess the pros and cons of doing so (note I'm not planning to immigrate there, just work under a visa).
Anyone have experience doing this? I'd love some advice or pointers, encouragement or warnings...

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