New restrictions on Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Alberta are good news for workers – AFL

Joint federal-provincial program will force employers in 29 job categories to look for unemployed locals first

Edmonton – This morning Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray and federal Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Minister Patty Hajdu announced a 24-month pilot program to ensure that employers can no longer use the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in place of local workers in 29 high-skilled job categories.

“This announcement is good news for Alberta workers, both employed and unemployed”, said Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. “I am proud of the leadership displayed by the Alberta Government in developing this pilot program which will help qualified Albertans currently seeking work with accessing good jobs. It will also stop the practice of TFWs being used to undercut wages and it will encourage employers, especially in construction, to put a renewed focus on apprenticeships and training.”

For years the Alberta Federation of Labour has been a leading voice in exposing the exploitative nature of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which has been used to flood local labour markets, drive down wages and working conditions, and undermine systems of permanent immigration.

“These 29 highly skilled job categories were selected because there is already a sufficient pool of unemployed workers with those skills right here in Alberta”, said McGowan, “There is no need for these businesses to be applying for access to temporary foreign workers when there are thousands of Albertans ready and willing to do the job.”

The AFL will continue to advocate for the abolishment of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and for a move to a real immigration system for workers coming in to the country.

Media Contact:

Chris Gallaway

Director of Government Relations, Alberta Federation of Labour

587-984-7569 or