Government to relax university foreign worker rules

posted on February 20, 2015

By Simona Chiose, Globe and Mail | Link to Article

By Simona Chiose, Globe and Mail | Link to Article

Universities have persuaded the federal government to relax new rules on how they hire temporary foreign workers that they say made it more difficult to recruit global academic talent.

An agreement struck this week between postsecondary institutions and the federal government will give schools flexibility in how they meet new rules imposed in June on employers looking to hire high-wage workers. Schools will no longer have to submit a plan on how they will transition jobs filled by highly paid foreign workers to Canadian citizens. Instead, universities and colleges will report to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), their national organization.

“I think that the government recognized that there are broader public policy objectives here: that universities can continue to meet their teaching and research needs, and to ensure that they can attract new knowledge and expertise from around the world,” said Christine Tausig Ford, vice-president and COO of the AUCC.

Universities are the only sector that will be allowed to be self-governing in meeting some of the requirements of the temporary foreign worker program. In most cases, universities receiving TFW permits to hire foreign academics are actually planning to employ them in permanent jobs – the TFW program is simply a faster way to bring professors or researchers to Canada than the federal skilled workers program.

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