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Temporary foreign employees are no longer restricted in Alberta.

Alberta is removing limits on the hiring of new temporary foreign employees as of May 1st.

This change affects all outstanding applications, including those submitted before May 1.

Prior to the move, the Alberta government maintained a “refusal to process” list of jobs for which employers may not apply to the Canadian government to hire temporary foreign workers.

On the guidance of the Alberta government, the Canadian government’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) was refusing to process TFWP applications for certain jobs. According to the Alberta government, these were occupations with labour surpluses. Instead, Alberta wanted to encourage firms to hire unemployed Albertans for these jobs.

Alberta has defended the relaxation of TFWP limits by claiming that it will help areas of the province’s economy that are experiencing labour shortages and are having difficulty finding Canadian workers.

According to Statistics Canada, there are over 88,000 job openings in the province.

Alberta said it will evaluate the effects of the reform and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the TFWP continues to help the province’s economy.

The TFWP enables Canadian firms to engage foreign workers to fill job openings when they are unable to find a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to do so. An employer must usually apply to the Canadian government for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

With over 800,000 job vacancies across the country, Canada is experiencing a labour shortage. As a result, federal and provincial governments are loosening laws to allow firms to hire more foreign workers to supplement the Canadian workforce. In response to the country’s historically low unemployment rate and unusually high job vacancy rate, the Canadian government eased its TFWP restrictions in early April.

The unemployment rate in Canada is currently at 5.3 percent, the lowest on record.

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