Ottawa, July 5, 2019 – Canada has launched a new temporary initiative to create a pathway to permanent residency for up to 500 out-of-status workers in the construction industry in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). These construction workers have come to Canada and made contributions to its economy and currently have limited means to regularize their status.
Over many years, even decades, some workers who have come to Canada with valid temporary resident status, and who have filled labour shortages in the construction industry, have fallen out of status. Previous changes, such as “four in, four out”, have resulted in some workers losing their status. These workers have continued to address significant labour shortages in the construction industry, while also contributing to the economy and their communities. Without valid immigration status, these workers and their families have lived in fear and been left feeling very vulnerable. The presence of out-of-status workers in a significant industry leads to depressed wages for Canadians and makes workers vulnerable to employer exploitation and abuse.
The Temporary Public Policy for Out-of-Status Construction Workers in the Greater Toronto Area responds to the recent parliamentary report on labour shortages in the construction industry in this part of Canada and reflects observations from numerous studies about the vulnerability of out-of-status workers. In the committee’s recommendations, the Government was urged to explore solutions for workers in the construction industry with precarious or no immigration status.
This temporary initiative is a step forward to increase the protection of some of these construction workers and their families, while safeguarding Canada’s labour market and ensuring that Canada can retain the workers it needs to grow the economy and build communities.
Potential applicants will first identify themselves to the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), a national labour organization with many construction industry affiliates in the GTA. CLC officials will determine the eligibility of potential applicants and refer them to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Spouses/partners and dependent children can be included in the application for permanent residence.
More information on the CLC referral process of applicants to IRCC is available on the CLC website.