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Jason Kenney – the Energizer Bunny Goes Too Far

Posted by kanrisha in blog - (Comments Off on Jason Kenney – the Energizer Bunny Goes Too Far)

Jason Kenney has been racing across the country, making announcements about changes to the immigration system at every stop. Vancouver one day, Calgary the next . . . today it was Winnipeg. It’s enough to make you dizzy!

Maybe it’s making him dizzy too, because today he went too far in announcing two additional changes that will “help transform Canada’s immigration system” – not, unfortunately, for the better. These changes will make Canada’s immigration system one in which applicants are subject to arbitrary rule changes in mid game. People who applied in good faith under one set of rules could find themselves out in the cold when the Minister changes his mind about what kind of immigrants he wants.

One proposed change would allow new regulations, once approved, to apply retrospectively to people who have already submitted an application. “These changes” CIC gushed in their press release, “would help ensure that immigrants are chosen based on Canada’s current needs and priorities”. That will be a real hit with applicants and do wonders for Canada’s reputation for fairness worldwide! It will be like entering a hockey tournament and having the referee blow his whistle and tossing you out in the middle of the game because the league has just announced new rules requiring everyone to play with a baseball bat and one running shoe.

A similar change CIC says, would help then ensure FSW applicants meet current labour market needs. It would allow new rules set out in Ministerial Instructions to apply to people who have already submitted an application.

This is how CIC explains it in their press release. “For example, instructions could place a priority on a specific occupation, such as doctors, and have existing applications from doctors processed first, regardless of where they are in the queue.” To me it sounds like being at the front of the line at a club when the bouncer decides to let in “The 4 Guys” from the Captain Morgan Rum commercial because they’re trending on Twitter.

Some of the changes Kenney has announced recently make sense in terms of modernising our immigration system – but this emphasis on treating immigrants as economic units instead of people and throwing out any vestiges of procedural fairness demeans Canada.

Full-time Experience Requirement for CEC Applicants to be Cut in Half!

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Citizenship and Immigration Canada intends to reduce the work experience requirement for eligible temporary foreign workers applying under the CEC (Canadian Experience Class) to stay permanently, in order to make Canada’s immigration system more flexible and responsive to labour market needs. One major benefit of the change would be to make it easier for skilled tradespersons working in Canada to transition to permanent residence as their work is often project-based and can be seasonal.

Currently, to be eligible to apply, applicants under the temporary foreign worker stream of the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) must have acquired 24 months of full-time work experience within the last 36 months. Under the proposed regulatory changes, the requirement would be reduced to 12 months of experience.

In order to qualify under the CEC, the work experience must be acquired in jobs that are classified under the National Occupation Classification (NOC) system as category 0, A or B occupations – generally, those are management, professional or highly skilled technical positions. Jobs in NOC categories C and D (semi-skilled or unskilled) do not qualify for CEC.

If you need more information about the Canadian Experience Class or whether your occupation would qualify, please send your enquiries to for a free assessment.

CIC Introduces Measures to Streamline Immigration for Skilled Tradespeople

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Under the modernized Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) to be unveiled later this year, CIC intends to create a separate and streamlined program for skilled tradespersons. Skilled trades include occupations in construction, transportation, manufacturing and service industries. Skilled tradespersons are in high demand in Canada particularly in the natural resources and construction sectors.

Currently, FSW applicants are assessed against a 100-point grid, with a pass mark of 67. The grid takes into account the candidate’s official language ability, education, work experience, age, whether they have a job offer in Canada (arranged employment), and their overall adaptability (which awards points for things like previous work or study in Canada, spouse’s education and relatives in Canada).

Some criteria in the FSW grid, such as years of education, have traditionally favoured professionals and managers more than skilled trades, and thus skilled tradespersons only make up 3 percent of all FSWs entering Canada. During CIC’s consultations on FSWP modernization over the past year, stakeholders also agreed that changes were necessary to make the program more accessible to tradespersons.

The proposed FSWP Skilled Trades program would create a means for skilled tradespersons to be assessed based on criteria geared towards their reality, putting more emphasis on practical training and work experience rather than formal education. The new skilled trades stream would avoid some of the complexities of the traditional points grid. Skilled trades applicants will, however, need to meet minimum language requirements, given the importance of language as a determinant of immigrant success.