“When the moratorium came into effect, it was definitely challenging for our part of the country, where there is already a shortage of workers who are willing to come to northeastern BC, and to do this (put a moratorium on the TFWP) makes it even more difficult,” Zimmer said.
Zimmer explained that there are different proposals in place, including one that would allow for a regionally-based system, where rates of unemployment would act as a trigger to recognize areas like ours.
“I definitely understand the issue, and we’re certainly working on it from our end, to have some kind of fix that makes it work again,” said Zimmer. “The bottom line is, there was a lot of abuse of the program across Canada, and we need to do something. But we still need the program, and we’re trying to fix that as we speak.”
Business owners in Fort St. John, said Zimmer, are quite willing to operate with the rules provided to them by the program. “We know these people need workers. Our people in the riding appreciate the service these workers provide. Many might remember when service in the restaurant industry (for example) didn’t have the support of Temporary Foreign Workers, and it wasn’t near as good as it is today.”
“We’re working on it, and again, we want to make sure that no Temporary Foreign Worker gets a job before a Canadian worker who wants to work. That’s why we did what we did.”