VANCOUVER—Federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney says the government’s decision to impose a moratorium on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) for food service workers is a message to employers across the country.
Kenney says protecting Canadians and their access to available jobs is an obligation of the Canadian government and the decision to put that sector of the program on hold demonstrates that resolve.
He says the government is distressed that wage rates have barely kept pace with inflation, which isn’t indicative of a tight labour market.
Kenney told a news conference he’s also disappointed that Canadian employers invest less than almost any other developed country on training.
He says all Canadian employers are obligated to actively search for Canadian workers first and the government’s latest move is a wake-up call to business, not just in the food-service sector, although he says he doesn’t see the need for a similar moratorium in other types of jobs.
The government imposed the moratorium for food service workers hours after the C.D. Howe Institute released a study that concluded the plan had spurred joblessness in British Columbia and Alberta.