Canadian restaurants will benefit from scrapping foreign worker program changes

January 12 2017

A regulation that limited temporary foreign workers employed in Canada to a maximum of four years was repealed towards the end of 2016, and this is positive news for the catering and hospitality sector, according to Restaurants Canada.

The group, formerly known as CRFA, said the move was “an important first step [towards] permanent residency”.

“Most foreign workers come to Canada with the hopes and dreams of staying in this country,” commented Joyce Reynolds, executive vice president of government affairs at Restaurants Canada.

She explained that in many cases, these workers enter the country due to permanent labour shortages and typically, their employers are keen to help them stay in Canada.

“After putting down roots in communities where they’re badly needed, it’s devastating for workers and their employers when they’re required to leave,” Ms Reynolds added.

Diverse and inclusive

A cap on how many low-wage temporary foreign workers businesses can hire was set to be reduced to ten per cent.

However, it will remain unchanged at 20 per cent, which Restaurants Canada believes will provide some hope for employers, especially in small and remote communities, where there are fewer potential employees.

The group also welcomed the extension of the 180-day exemption from regulations for seasonal employers to 2018, a move that will benefit restaurants in resort communities with perpetual worker shortages in peak seasons.

A statement from Restaurants Canada added: “The restaurant industry remains committed to hiring Canadians first. It is proud of its diverse and inclusive workforce, and its record of hiring from groups otherwise underrepresented in the country’s labour force.”

In other Restaurants Canada-related developments, the group has partnered with HostMilano - the world’s largest trade show for the restaurant and catering sectors, with 2,000 exhibitors typically attracting 150,000 delegates.

This deal provides Canada with a platform to show off the best it has to offer, connecting buyers and sellers internationally and opening the door to new business opportunities.

With a membership of 30,000 businesses, Restaurants Canada is a national, not-for-profit association representing the country’s diverse and dynamic restaurant and food service industry.