The government of Alberta and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) have partnered to deal with a concern in the Alberta labour market.
Before hiring a temporary foreign worker, an employer must go through the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process. This process, established by ESDC and administered by Service Canada, forces employers to ensure that they seek Canadians before filling a position with a foreign worker. Subject to rules for specific occupations or occupation types, the LMIA process generally requires an employer to seek to recruit Canadians, and thereafter substantiate to Service Canada that a suitable Canadian could not be found. (For our purposes, ‘Canadians’ will be used to include Canadian citizens and permanent residents.)
From time to time, in recognition of market factors, ESDC may take action to address a problem or concern. This can occur both when there is recognition of a labour market shortage, as well as when there is a surplus, in a particular field or geographic location
In this instance, ESDC and the province of Alberta have agreed, for a 24-month period, to disallow the issuance of LMIAs for positions in occupations deemed to have a sufficient pool of talent in Canada. Indeed, as a balance to this action, the government of Alberta has created a ‘liaison’ service to assist employers who are seeking workers to fill positions in these categories. The occupations in question are listed below, at the end of this article.
Note that this is an ESDC/Alberta program impacting the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. This is NOT an Immigration Canada program. That is to say, people who are seeking work permits under LMIA-exempt categories (also known as the ‘International Mobility Workers Program) would still be able to seek work permits for positions in Alberta, so long as they otherwise met the requirements of a particular LMIA-exempt category, for example, Intra-Company Transfer.
Certainly, some employers may be impacted by this program, but (a) they can seek assistance through the Alberta Employer Liaison Service (see http://www.albertacanada.com/opportunity/employers/employer-liaison-service.aspx), and (b) this should have little or no impact on situations where a foreign worker is coming to Canada pursuant to an LMIA-exempt category. Those impacted should seek proper advice for their particular needs.
The information in this article is for general purposes only, and not intended as legal advice for any particular situation.
List of Occupations for which LMIAs will Not Currently be Issued in Alberta:
|Business, finance, and administration occupations|
|1225||Purchasing agents and officers|
|1523||Production logistics co-ordinators|
Natural and applied sciences and related occupations
|2133||Electrical and electronic engineers|
|2212||Geological and mineral technologists and technicians|
|2231||Civil engineering technologists and technicians|
|2233||Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians|
|2261||Non-destructive testers and inspection technicians|
Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations
|7202||Contractors, supervisors- electrical trades and telecommunications occupations|
|7231||Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors|
|7237||Welders and related machine operators|
|7241||Electricians (except industrial and power system)|
|7301||Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades|
|7302||Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews|
|7311||Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics|
|7312||Heavy-duty equipment mechanics|
|7322||Motor vehicle body repairers|
|7511||Transport truck drivers|
Occupations in manufacturing and utilities
|8222||Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services|
|8232||Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers|
|8412||Oil and gas well drilling and related workers and services operators|
|8615||Oil and gas drilling, servicing and related labourers|
|9232||Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators|