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Canada stops restaurants from hiring temporary foreign workers

Published on Apr 25, 2014 9:14 PM

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will not allow restaurants to hire any more temporary foreign workers until the federal government completes a review of a programme set up as a last resort for employers to fill jobs when no qualified Canadians are available.

The moratorium, which only affects food-service businesses, follows a decision by the Canadian unit of McDonald's Corp earlier this week to suspend all of its applications under the Temporary Foreign Worker Programme. The federal government took the action, announced in a statement late on Thursday, after starting an investigation into alleged abuses of the programme within the food-service industry.

Mr Jason Kenney, the minister for employment and social development, said officials had placed a moratorium on processing new applications from food-service businesses, and it would stop restaurants from hiring workers for unfilled jobs when applications were already approved. Mr Kenny said the government was considering unspecified reforms of the programme to make sure employers recruit and train Canadians for jobs.

"Our government has been clear," he said in the statement."Canadians must have the first chance at available jobs."

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