On June 20, 2014, the Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, and Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced significant changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Under the new structure, the Labour Market Opinion will now be replaced by the Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”). LMIA-exempt foreign workers will become part of the newly-named International Mobility Program. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program will include only workers who require an LMIA.
On April 24, 2014, Canada's Minister of Employment and Social Development announced an immediate moratorium on the Food Services Sector’s access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. As a result, Employment and Social Development Canada will no longer process any new or pending Labour Market Opinion ("LMO") applications related to the Food Services Sector. In addition, any unfilled positions tied to a previously approved LMO will be suspended.
On February 11, 2014, Finance Canada released its 54-page “Jobs Report” alongside the Federal Budget. In that report, the Canadian Government claimed that Canada’s job vacancy rate had been “increasing steadily since 2009.” However, this claim was challenged by economists, who noted that Statistics Canada’s own figures proved it was declining. It was later concluded that the problem related to the Canadian Government’s use of data that included Kijiji job postings. In light of this development, employers that wish to advertise jobs in connection with the filing of a Labour Market Opinion application should avoid the use of free websites such Kijiji or Craigslist.