Territory will be able to fast-track foreign workers
The Governments of Canada and Yukon have signed an agreement to allow the territory to recommend foreign workers to take jobs without determining if there are suitable Canadian workers or permanent residents that can fill the vacant positions. Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, employers can only fill labour shortages with workers from abroad when a Service Canada assessment determines that there are not enough local workers to fill the positions.
The agreement involves some pilot initiatives that will address issues that specifically affect different regions of the territory.
Territory will determine which sectors are exempt
The agreement supports the idea that Yukon would be aware of its own labour needs. Thus, the territory is able to decide which industries would be exempt from requiring local workers to fill positions. The Government of Yukon will base its decision on which sectors are in the greatest demand. Likely, the hospitality and mining industries will offer the exemptions.
Foreign workers won’t be exploited in territory
The mining industry could attract an abundance of workers from abroad, which raises concerns for their treatment. However, the temporary foreign workers will still be afforded the same labour and job safety rights as Canadian workers. The agreement will provide a framework for Canada and Yukon to bring awareness to employers and potential workers about their rights and responsibilities.
Another issue involves the workers that are currently in the territory who may be overlooked by the new agreement. Patrick Rouble, Yukon’s Minister of Education and Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources points out that the territory will still make an effort to provide work for locals.
“Our first priority is to work with underrepresented groups in Yukon to meet labour force demands and turn to temporary foreign workers when the need arises,” Rouble said of the territory’s aim.