IMMIGRATION ECONOMIC INITIATIVE – Temporary public policy issued to provide permanent residence to out-of-status construction workers in the Greater Toronto Area, July 5, 2019.
In the stated Objectives of Canadian immigration law, found in s.3 (1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, there are several references to the objectives being economic in nature. The Objectives talk about the need to pursue the “economic benefits of immigration” and to “support the development of a strong and prosperous Canadian economy”.
Despite these worthy objectives, the reality is that historically the immigration bureaucracy and the programs it created and administered were almost always too slow and often too cumbersome to meet the economic needs of Canada. The economy after all is fluid and ever changing, and any bureaucracy would have trouble keeping up with the realities of the economy and the needs of Canadian business.
For example, our firm has written about the issues related to what is supposed to be one of the principal vehicles for Canadian businesses to bring foreign workers from overseas, to meet their needs. That is, the Labour Market Impact Assessment “program”. Many other stakeholders have voiced similar concerns. Some stakeholders continued to voice such concerns.
The good news is that the government seems to have heard these concerns and is re-examining many of the programs meant to address the issue of temporary workers. Some new programs have been introduced. Worth noting is the – “ Temporary public policy issued to provide permanent residence to out-of-status construction workers in the Greater Toronto Area” announced on July 5, 2019. According to the government this is a new temporary initiative to address labour shortage and at the same time to create a pathway to permanent residence for up to 500 out-of-status construction worker in the Greater Toronto Area.
However, it remains to be seen if the government is nimble enough to respond to the concerns of other Canadian businesses and whether the programs will have the needed effectiveness.