ARCHIVED – Annex B – Temporary Foreign Workers

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1.0 Preamble

1.1 For the purposes of this Annex, “Canada” means Canada as represented by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (“CIC”) and the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (“HRSDC”), unless otherwise indicated. “Nova Scotia” means Nova Scotia as represented by the Minister of Immigration.

1.2 Whereas subsection 5(1) of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act (DCIA) authorizes the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, with the approval of the Governor-in-Council, to enter into agreements with provinces for the purpose of facilitating the formulation, coordination and implementation – including the collection, use and disclosure of information – of policies and program for which the Minister is responsible; and whereas paragraph 204(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) authorizes the issuance of work permits under section 200 of the IRPR to foreign nationals who intend to perform work pursuant to an agreement entered into by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration with a province; this Annex constitutes an agreement in accordance with subsection 5(1) of the DCIA, subsection 8(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and paragraph 204(c) of the IRPR. This Annex shall be governed by the provisions of the Agreement for Canada-Nova Scotia Cooperation on Immigration (the “Agreement”) in any matters not specifically addressed in this Annex.

1.3 Whereas, pursuant to the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act (DHRSDA), the powers, duties and functions of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development extend to all matters relating to human resources and skills development in Canada over which Parliament has jurisdiction and which are not by law assigned to any other Minister, department, board or agency of the Government of Canada; and whereas the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development is authorized, pursuant to section 10 of the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act to enter into agreements with Provinces and Territories for the purposes of facilitating the formulation, coordination and implementation of programs and policies related to the powers, duties and functions conferred by that Act.

1.4 Whereas paragraph 3 (1) (a) of the IRPA states that it is an objective of that Act “to permit Canada to pursue the maximum social, cultural and economic benefits of immigration”, Canada and Nova Scotia agree that a Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Annex to the Agreement will support Nova Scotia’s efforts to address its unique economic and social needs, which will in turn contribute to Canada’s overall social, cultural and economic benefit.

Therefore, Canada and Nova Scotia agree to the following:

2.0 Definitions

2.1 “Dependent” refers to persons meeting the definition of “dependent child” as set out in section 2 of the IRPR.

2.2 “Job” refers to any piece of work (“work” being defined in section 2 of the IRPR).

2.3 “Labour Market Opinion” (or “LMO”) is an opinion provided by HRSDC under section 203 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) and upon which a determination by an officer of CIC as to whether a job offer is genuine and whether the employment of the foreign national is likely to have a neutral or positive effect on the labour market in Canada is based.

2.4 “Occupation” refers to a job which is defined and described in detail in the National Occupation Classification (“NOC”) system as defined in section 2 of the IRPR.

2.5 “Skilled Worker” refers to any worker whose occupation is found in levels 0, A or B of the NOC system. A “low-skilled worker” is any worker who does not fit this definition of “Skilled Worker”.

2.6 “Temporary Foreign Worker” or “TFW” refers to any foreign national who seeks to engage in work in Canada. “Temporary Foreign Worker Program” or “TFWP” refers to the functions under the IRPA and the IRPR that allow the Government of Canada to authorize foreign nationals to work temporarily in Canada.

2.7 When any term used in this Annex is not defined in this section but is defined in the IRPA or the IRPR, the definition found in the Act or those Regulations applies. A reference to IRPA or the IRPR is a reference to the Act or those Regulations as amended from time to time.

3.0 Shared principles, objective and purposes

3.1 The Parties agree that a Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Annex to the Agreement will support Nova Scotia’s efforts to address its unique economic and social needs, which in turn contribute to Canada’s overall social, cultural and economic benefit.

3.2 Canada and Nova Scotia agree that measures to facilitate the entry of temporary foreign workers will be taken recognizing the importance of supporting Nova Scotia’s efforts to train and improve the skills of Nova Scotians, and of ensuring compliance with all applicable laws including those involving immigration, employment standards, workplace safety and labour regulations.

3.3 Canada and Nova Scotia recognize that providing opportunities for all foreign nationals legally in Nova Scotia to successfully participate in their respective workplaces and communities is essential to achieve the economic and social benefits of immigration policies and programs.

3.4 The objective of this Annex is to allow Canada and Nova Scotia to better work together to meet the particular needs and circumstances of Nova Scotia’s employers, labour market and economy with respect to the role played by the entry of foreign nationals to the province to work on a temporary basis. In better addressing the needs of Nova Scotia employers, Canada and Nova Scotia recognize the unique situation of TFWs in the labour market, and are committed to protecting their rights.

3.4.1 Canada and Nova Scotia agree that meeting this objective will require the participation and co-operation of various federal and provincial departments in addition to those of the signing Ministers.

3.5 The purpose of this Annex is to identify areas of cooperation between Canada and Nova Scotia and to support the operation of the federal TFWP in Nova Scotia in ways that:

a) provide Nova Scotia with mechanisms to facilitate the entry of TFWs to Nova Scotia to meet its economic development priorities, in a manner that does not negatively affect the normal functioning of the local labour market;

3.0 enhance information exchanges between Canada and Nova Scotia for the purposes of policy and operational matters related to the TFWP;

4.0 increase the awareness amongst employers, employment agencies/recruiters, and TFWs of their respective rights and responsibilities; and,

5.0 facilitate research and evaluation of the TFWP in order to enhance understanding of TFW outcomes.

3.6 The Annex seeks to promote the entry of TFWs destined to work in Nova Scotia through agreed-upon mechanisms as expeditiously as possible, taking into consideration applicable law, operational and resource constraints, and national security.

4.0 Temporary Foreign Workers recommended by Nova Scotia

4.1 Canada and Nova Scotia agree that addressing the objective outlined in this Annex can be achieved in part through joint planning and priority-setting with respect to the entry of TFWs into Nova Scotia.

4.2 Work Permit Issuance to Individual Foreign Nationals – Canada and Nova Scotia agree that, pursuant to paragraph 204(c) of the IRPR, CIC may issue a work permit to an eligible individual foreign national destined to work in Nova Scotia in a specific occupation for a named employer or defined group of employers without requiring a Labour Market Opinion (as described in paragraph 203 of the IRPR), whenever Nova Scotia has provided CIC with a written recommendation to issue a work permit to that foreign national authorizing him or her to work for a particular employer or defined group of employers.

4.2.1 CIC and Nova Scotia agree that the number of work permits issued to principal applicants pursuant to section 4.2 of this Annex will be based on a written estimate from Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia will provide this estimate to CIC for each given calendar year, starting for the calendar year 2010, no later than November 15 of the preceding year.

4.3 Work Permit Issuance to Group of Foreign Nationals – Canada and Nova Scotia also agree that, pursuant to paragraph 204(c) of the IRPR, CIC may issue work permits to foreign nationals who are destined to work in Nova Scotia in specific occupations, for an employer or a defined group of employers, without requiring a labour market opinion (as described in paragraph 203 of the IRPR) whenever Nova Scotia has provided CIC with a written recommendation to issue work permits to members of a defined group authorizing them to work for an employer or defined group of employers and the foreign nationals are determined to be members of that group.

4.3.1 Nova Scotia will only make a written recommendation to CIC pursuant to section 4.3 after it has consulted with and obtained advice from the TFW Working Group (as defined in section 9.1 of this Annex), or some other intergovernmental group as agreed to by the Parties to this Annex, in relation to the proposed recommendation.

4.3.2 Nova Scotia will provide an estimate of the number of anticipated openings for any defined group of foreign nationals recommended under section 4.3 as part of its written recommendation to CIC.

4.3.3 Recommendations made under section 4.3 will be limited to a maximum twelve-month validity, subject to renewal based upon a new recommendation

4.4 For work permits issued pursuant to sections 4.2 and 4.3 of this Annex, Nova Scotia will act consistently with the objective set out in section 3.1 of this Annex. Nova Scotia also agrees to respect federal TFWP principles and objectives, and to not undermine Canada’s responsibilities to deliver the TFWP pursuant to the provisions of the IRPA and its Regulations. Nova Scotia will use sections 4.2 and 4.3 selectively, and does not intend to replace or replicate an LMO described in section 203 of the IRPR.

4.4.1 Nova Scotia will establish clear and transparent sets of criteria and procedures when proceeding pursuant to sections 4.2 and 4.3. Nova Scotia will develop these sets of criteria in cooperation with Canada, and will share with Canada its policies and procedures as adopted. Canada and Nova Scotia further agree to develop a system to provide Canada opportunities to comment on the development of policies and procedures related to Nova Scotia’s recommendations;

4.4.2 Nova Scotia’s recommendations may be made based on:

  1. Local labour market demand;
  2. Nova Scotia’s specific skills requirements;
  3. Efforts by the Nova Scotia’s employer community to fill job openings with Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
  4. Implications for Nova Scotia’s communities; and
  5. Other considerations as may be determined by the Parties.

4.4.3 Work permit applications supported by a Nova Scotia recommendation will continue to be assessed against all other applicable IRPA and IRPR criteria, including the applicant’s ability to perform the work sought and the likelihood that the applicant will voluntarily leave Canada at the end of the period authorized for their stay, noting that under subsection 22(2) of the IRPA a foreign national with the intention to become a permanent resident may still be eligible for temporary resident status in Canada. Applicants must also meet all admissibility criteria as outlined under the IRPA in order to obtain status as a temporary resident in Canada.

4.5 CIC will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that work permit applications made pursuant to a written recommendation as described in section 4.2 or section 4.3 of this Annex are processed in a timely manner.

4.6 Canada agrees to consider all of Nova Scotia’s operational and levels-related recommendations concerning the operation of the TFWP in Nova Scotia. Canada may use Nova Scotia’s estimates of future demand for TFWs in the province in developing operational plans for the effective operation of Canada’s TFWP.

5.0 Operational improvements

5.1HRSDC is committed to working with all provinces and territories to explore the establishment of national service standards for the processing of LMOs within twelve months of signing this Annex.

5.2 HRSDC agrees to implement ongoing improvements to the processing of LMOs. Improvements will include:

5.2.1 HRSDC posting LMO processing times on its website; and,

5.2.2 HRSDC providing applicants with notification of the receipt of LMO applications.

5.3 Nova Scotia will endeavor to become a more attractive destination for TFWs by making available information for TFWs and prospective TFWs on eligibility for Nova Scotia health insurance, workers compensation benefits, applicable employer or government-sponsored pension plans, and protection under the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act,the Employment Standards Act, and federal occupational health and safety, employment and labour relations standards.

5.4 Canada and Nova Scotia support the principle of providing “one-stop” service for employers where feasible. Before Canada establishes any new service for employers respecting its TFWP, Canada agrees to consult with Nova Scotia to explore any opportunities for co-location, expansion of services and partnership opportunities.

6.0 Compliance and enforcement

6.1 Nova Scotia and Canada agree that the effective monitoring and compliance of TFWs, employment agencies and employers with TFWP requirements, as well as with all applicable federal and provincial laws, is essential to TFWP integrity and the ability of Canada and Nova Scotia to facilitate the entry of TFWs into Nova Scotia. To assist with the on-going administration and enforcement of the TFWP in Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia and Canada agree to work with all relevant departments that respond to complaints or other information regarding work conditions for TFWs, and maintain a coordinated enforcement strategy for administering programs that impact upon temporary foreign workers.

6.1.1 To facilitate these efforts, Nova Scotia and HRSDC will complete a Letter of Understanding to exchange information, and CIC will negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding to share information with Nova Scotia.

6.1.2 Canada and Nova Scotia will ensure that any exchange of personal information will be undertaken and conducted in accordance with the Privacy Act for CIC, the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act for HRSDC, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for Nova Scotia, and any other applicable federal and provincial legislation and in accordance with their respective policies related to protection of privacy, access to information and security of records.

6.1.3 Subject to regulatory authority, Canada agrees to consider information provided by Nova Scotia with respect to employers’ misrepresentation or non-compliance with federal and/or provincial legislation in the issuance or denial of LMOs and/or work permits. This includes any requirements respecting the licensing of employment agencies in Nova Scotia.

6.2 Canada and Nova Scotia will jointly ensure that TFWP requirements are clearly understood by both clients and program staff by facilitating the transfer of timely and clear program information to employers, employment agencies, and TFWs.

7.0 Innovative initiatives

7.1 The Canada-Nova Scotia Working Group on TFWs, as referred to in section 9.1 of this Annex, may in the future develop pilot projects targeting specific occupations to meet labour market needs.

7.2 CIC agrees to issue an open work permit to accompanying dependents of a TFW in Nova Scotia if the TFW holds a work permit valid for 6 months or longer and is a Skilled Worker. The work permit will only be issued upon application by the dependent; the work permit will be limited to work in the province of Nova Scotia; and a work permit will only be issued to persons who are otherwise able to be legally employed in Nova Scotia. The work permits should expire the same date as the expiry date of the work permit of the principal work permit holder.

7.3 Where a Canadian permanent resident or citizen who has left Canada returns to Canada to re-establish their residence in Nova Scotia and work in Nova Scotia as a Skilled Worker, and he/she is accompanied by a foreign spouse or common law partner and/or dependents, CIC agrees to issue open work permits to that spouse or common law partner and those dependents upon application, provided the applicants are otherwise legally able to work in Nova Scotia. These open work permits should have a validity period of two years.

7.4 CIC agrees to pursue changes to facilitate the transition from temporary to permanent status, including:

  1. Investigating the benefits of creating a capacity to i) process applications for permanent residence from within Canada, and ii) support the issuance of permanent residence status to work permit holders from within Canada either at existing CIC offices within Canada or through the establishment of an in-Canada processing centre; and
  2. Exploring the practicality of developing a capacity for the issuance of work permits from within Nova Scotia.

7.5 To help achieve the objectives of this Annex, Canada agrees to consult Nova Scotia with reasonable advance notice when Canada is contemplating entering into bilateral arrangements or agreements with a TFW source country and, in turn, Nova Scotia agrees to provide reasonable advance notice when Nova Scotia is contemplating entering into a bilateral arrangement or agreement with a TFW source country. Each party agrees to provide advice and make recommendations for the other’s consideration respecting any such arrangements or agreements.

7.6 Canada and Nova Scotia acknowledge the importance of enhancing the functioning and facilitating the orientation of all TFWs in Nova Scotia workplaces and communities. Through the Canada-Nova Scotia Working Group on TFWs, the Parties agree to discuss the development of a pilot project to assist employers with integrating TFWs in their workplace. In addition, subject to regulatory authority, all LMO applications in these categories will be accompanied by a workplace and community orientation plan for TFWs.

8.0 Temporary Foreign Worker Program accountability and evaluation

8.1 Canada and Nova Scotia agree to encourage research related to the TFWP, and to annually share their respective research priorities and planned activities, and to cooperate on research initiatives and evaluations, as appropriate. Where appropriate, the Parties further agree to share with each other the results of any such research and evaluation activities.

8.2 Canada and Nova Scotia agree to co-operate to improve the capture and understanding of TFWP accountability measures such as processing times and occupational coding of work permit recipients destined to Nova Scotia to support the ongoing review and evaluation of the TFWP.

8.3 Canada will evaluate the national TFWP on a five-year cycle so as to meet federal government accountability and evaluation requirements. The operation of the federal TFWP within the province of Nova Scotia will be evaluated as a component of the national study of the national TFWP.Canada will lead the evaluation of the national TFWP, including the development of the evaluation framework and other national evaluation activities. Nova Scotia will cooperate with Canada, including the sharing of relevant program information and data, to the extent permitted by law. Canada will provide Nova Scotia with copies of all TFWP evaluations. Similarly, Nova Scotia will share with Canada the results of any and all evaluations it performs of the TFWP in its province.

8.4 CIC agrees to develop means and procedures to code the work permits of TFWs who are destined to work in Nova Scotia in such a way that data pertaining to that group can be extracted from the data for the overall national TFWP, and shared with Nova Scotia, within the limits of Canada’s management information technology. This includes noting work permits that are issued under a Nova Scotia recommendation as described in section 4.0 of this Annex, and work permits issued under the provisions of section 7.0 of this Annex.

8.5 Canada and Nova Scotia agree to undertake a joint review of the pilots as outlined in section 7.0. Process and review timelines will be established by the Working Group, referenced in section 9.1.

8.6 Canada and Nova Scotia will collaborate on the development and implementation of any future TFWP accountability measures that relate specifically to the functioning of the TFWP in Nova Scotia.

9.0 Governance and other

9.1 Canada and Nova Scotia agree to establish a Temporary Foreign Worker Working Group (“TFW Working Group”) within six months of the signing of this Annex to oversee the implementation of this Annex and to meet the ongoing objectives set out in section 3.0 of this Annex, in accordance with the following arrangements:

  1. The TFW Working Group will be co-chaired by one representative each of NSOI and CIC at the Director level.
  2. The TFW Working Group co-chairs will appoint up to 5 members each. Service Canada – Nova Scotia Region and CIC – Nova Scotia Region, and HRSDC-NHQ and NSOI must each have at least one representative.
  3. The TFW Working Group may establish its own terms of reference, guidelines and rules of procedure and practice, including mechanisms for resolving disputes, and specific projects including but not restricted to those set out in this Annex.
  4. The TFW Working Group will meet on a regular basis to set direction and monitor the progress of the initiatives and objectives of this Annex to serve as a forum for sharing information and experiences, to review policy and operational matters related to TFWs in Nova Scotia, to discuss the effectiveness of the Annex in obtaining its objectives and to prepare its report to the Management Committee established in section 10.0 of the Agreement on Canada-Nova Scotia Cooperation on Immigration on an annual basis.
  5. The co-chairs of the TFW Working Group may appoint ad hoc inter-jurisdictional task teams for specific tasks or projects identified by the working group and such task teams shall report to the co-chairs of the TFW Working Group.

9.2 In the case of a dispute or disagreement under this Annex, Canada and Nova Scotia agree to use the dispute resolution process outlined in section 11.0 of the Agreement on Canada-Nova Scotia Cooperation on Immigration.

9.3 This Annex will remain in effect indefinitely subject to section 9.6 of this Annex. The Parties agree to review the operation of this Annex every four years.

9.4 In keeping with the objectives set out in section 3.0 of this Annex, Canada will be open and transparent concerning its intention to enter into agreements with other provinces respecting TFWs. Canada will provide, at Nova Scotia’s request;

  1. copies of other federal-provincial agreements made under section 204 (c) of the IRPR; and,
  2. access to terms and conditions of other federal-provincial TFW agreements.

9.5 Any term of this Annex may be amended by the written mutual consent of the signatories of this Annex or by their designates, subject to any required approval or authorization including the approval of the Governor-in-Council.

9.6 This Annex may be terminated by any of the signatories to the Annex at any time by providing twelve months’ notice in writing to the others.

9.7 Nova Scotia will advise Canada on any proposed arrangement or agreement to be entered into with another party to carry out Nova Scotia’s responsibility under this Annex.

9.8 This Annex will take effect on the date that it is signed by the last of the parties to do so.

 

SIGNED this ______ day of ______, 2010

Minister of Citizenship, Immigration
and Multiculturalism

Minister of Human Resources and
Skills Development


Minister of Immigration

Minister of Labour and Workforce
Development

Date Modified: