Posts Tagged ‘foreign workers’

Great News for Camping!

Posted on May 5, 2017 by Jonathan Nyquist

After nearly three years of hard work and lobbying, our CCA government relations committee is excited to report the following, newly created Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt permit category for staff working at camps: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/tools/temp/work/unique/camp.asp

All foreign workers who wish to secure a temporary work permit as a camp counsellor should be processed under this recently created category.

You may also find it useful to review information on the web-pages listed below. These resources are included as links in the new camp counsellor work permit policy and they provide additional information regarding potential work permit fee exemptions for international camp staff and employers utilizing this new category:

The process of securing this policy has been a major undertaking and these new guidelines will pave the way for addressing our future needs for foreign camp staff. It will also support our ability to continue to create high-quality, diverse staffing teams as well as develop camp communities that encourage the exchange of cultures. We owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to the many government policy makers who listened to our case, believed in our cause and helped guide and support us through this hard fought endeavour. The following MP’s, Ministers and their respective office support teams went above and beyond to help with this initiative and advocate on our behalf:

Minister Ahmed D. Hussen and previous Minister John McCallum, MP Michael Levitt, MP Anthony Rota, Roland Parris – previous Senior Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, MP Marco Mendicino, MP David Graham, MP Anthony Housefather, MP Jamie Schmale, MP Ralph Goodale, MP Rodger Cuzner and Minister Patty Hajdu.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to Mark Diamond and Jonathan Nyquist who co-led this initiative, as well as the following members of our Association who dedicated a substantial amount of time on this matter: Barb Gray, Jonathan Pivnick, Adam Kronick, Sol Birenbaum, Leon Muszynski, Craig Perlmutter, Stephane Richard and Mike Sladden.

We also appreciate the efforts of our very competent lobbying company, Tactix, for their exceptionally skillful guidance and support throughout this process.

If you have any questions regarding the exemption then please feel free to reach out directly to Jonathan Nyquist: jonathan@go-nyquest.com

Take care and happy camping!

TFW-Urgent Information Required-Deadline April 13

Posted on April 7, 2015 by Jill Dundas

In order to move forward with the government discussions on temporary foreign workers, we need to provide collated data based on this survey.

Please take a couple of minutes to respond to the survey questions and provide responses to jill.dundas@sympatico.ca no later than Monday, April 13.

Thank you so much for your cooperation with this.

Temporary Foreign Worker Webinar with Service Canada

Posted on March 19, 2015 by Jill Dundas

Service Canada will facilitate a webinar on March 25th from 1-2 pm eastern. They will address specific questions for those camps wanting to bring in foreign workers but are not eligible to utilize the charitable or religiously affiliated LMIA process. You are also welcome to join if you are just interested in hearing the information being provided.

Anyone who is interested in participating in this webinar is to contact Jill Dundas at jill.dundas@sympatico.ca no later than 11:00 am Eastern time on March 25th. All details for the webinar will be provided to those respondents as soon as received from Service Canada.

We apologize for the short time line with this opportunity.

Update – LMIA Exemption Charitable or Religious Camps

Posted on February 25, 2015 by Government Relations Committee

Dear CCA Members,

We have some important updates regarding the LMIA exempt work permits utilized by religious or charitable camps.  The new process to apply for an LMIA exempt work permit is outlined at the following  web-page:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/tools/temp/work/admissibility/specific.asp.

It has also been announced that the new $230 employer compliance fee will NOT be charged for staff working at religious or charitable camps who are earning less than minimum wage.

Although this is a very big win for our industry, our government lobbying team still has a long way to go to make sure all camps have a suitable solution for acquiring their international staff.  We will be sure to provide updates on their efforts, but please feel free to contact Jonathan Nyquist (jonathan@go-nyquest.com) or Mark Diamond (mark@manitoucamp.com) if you have any specific questions.

News on Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Posted on February 15, 2015 by Government Relations Committee

Hi CCA Membership,

We wanted to get in touch with a short-term, significant change to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

The government has recently announced a new ’employer compliance fee’ of $230 and a new required pre-application process for any organization that hires staff through an LMIA exemption. This includes camps who hire foreign workers through the Religious or Charitable LMIA Exempt work permit.  Please refer to the following notice for further details: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/notices/2015-02-09.asp.

Despite our best efforts to connect with the government on this, we do not know if this fee will be per individual worker or just per employer. The fee does not come into effect until February 21st, 2015 and so your camp may want to submit your foreign worker applications before that time.  The actual LMIA exempt work permit itself, that a foreign worker will pick up at the border/airport, is still fee-exempt.

By contacting the email addresses below (depending on where you are located), you will be able to receive the application information required to submit an assessment of your eligibility for the LMIA exemption.

Toronto (serving Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut)

Toronto Temporary Foreign Worker Unit
E-mail: TFWU-Toronto-UTET@cic.gc.ca

Montreal (serving Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador)

Montreal Temporary Foreign Worker Unit
E-mail: CIC-QUE-SRTE@cic.gc.ca

The CCA government lobbying team will be back in Ottawa on February 20th to address this issue as well as continue to develop short and long term solutions for our industry.  In the mean time, if we hear any definitive news on the $230 fee that does not make this action so pressing, we will be sure to let you know!

We may need your support in contacting the government regarding this matter, but we recommend waiting until further information is provided following next week’s meeting.

Specific questions regarding this matter can be directed to Jonathan Nyquist (jonathan@go-nyquest.com) and/or Mark Diamond (mark@manitoucamp.com)

Update on CCA Lobbying re Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Posted on January 5, 2015 by CCA Communications Committee

Dear CCA Members,

We trust that you are all doing well. We’re excited to warm you up with some holiday cheer by providing an update on our lobbying efforts regarding the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. We know that the changes made at the end of June affect many camps in our association and please know that we have been working hard to resolve the difficulties with both the Federal and Provincial Governments. At this point, we do not have any solutions to report, but we definitely have the ear of the government and they seem motivated to develop a plan to solve our challenges.

As well, we are happy to let you know that there are no changes to the current exemption for international staff working at charitable or religious camps. This fee exempt permit can be secured for staff at a Canadian Port of Entry (Canadian border) or through a new pre-application process offered by Service Canada. Please feel free to contact Jonathan Nyquist if you would like to learn more about this permit, the process to pre-apply or if have questions about whether your camp qualifies: jonathan@go-nyquest.com. In addition, the Working Holiday Permit which many international staff acquire is still valid for working in any position at camp. To find a list of countries that offer Working Holiday Permit programs, please refer to the following link and scroll through the list of countries in the pick list under “Where you would like to go”: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/residents/iec/index.asp

In regards to potential solutions for all for-profit camps that do not have a religious focus, we are working closely with variety of departments in the federal government. We are urging the government to lower our fees on LMIA applications for camps (current fee is $1,000 per international staff. Up from $275 last year and $0 the year before) as well as relief from lengthy application processing times. We are also working with the government to hopefully create a reciprocal work permit program between the US and Canada, which will allow the same number of Americans to work at Canadian camps as there are Canadians that work at camps in the US. Lastly, we are in discussions with the head of the Working Holiday Permit program to try to secure additional Working Holiday Permits for camps.

During our two trips to Ottawa, we have met with several government departments and political staff including Minister Jason Kenney’s office (Employment and Social Development) and MInister Chris Alexander’s office (Citizenship and Immigration). These two Ministers are currently in-charge of overseeing the changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and approving exemptions for specific industries, where deemed appropriate. Minister Tony Clement is also influential in these discussions and he has spoken with Minister Kenney to help support our case. As well, we specifically want to extend a big Thank You to the following camps who wrote a letter to Minister Clement to persuade him to take a stand on this issue: Camp Walden, Camp Manitou, Glen Bernard Camp, Camp Tawingo, Camp Tamarack, Canadian Adventure Camp, Camp Arowhon, Camp New Moon, The Taylor Statten Camps, Camp Wabun, YMCA Wanakita, Camp Bil-O-Wood, Centauri Summer Arts Camp, Camp Pathfinder, Camp Winnebagoe, Hockey Opportunity Camp and Camp Tanamakoon.

In addition, the federal government is aware that we are working on a tight time line and they are trying to find a resolution to our situation by February or March. As you have likely seen in media coverage over the last several months, the Temporary Foreign Worker issue is a very politically-sensitive one, with many sectors and industries engaged on the issue in different ways. We are focused on continuing the productive dialogue that has already started with the federal government, towards developing a solutions package that will work for you as camp operators.

As camps look to prepare for their work permit applications for the upcoming camping season, we have two important updates:

  1. Training: The government will host camp industry specific trainings in the form of in-person sessions and/or webinars to answer questions and support camps with their work permit applications. We will secure the times for these trainings by February.
  2. Advertising: We recommend that all private camps that might utilize the LMIA work permit application process begin posting three job advertisements by the end of February. Camps need to advertise their staffing positions in three places, one of which can be a provincial camping job board and one of which MUST be the Canadian Job Bank: http://www.jobbank.gc.ca/home-eng.do?lang=eng. Camps counsellors have an advertising variation in Ontario, so for these staff, camps can apply for LMIA’s even before their advertisements have been posted for four weeks:http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/foreign_workers/variations.shtml.

We are organizing our next round of meetings in Ottawa in January and although we are excited about the positive reaction from the government, we know that we still have a long way to go and may need your support. We will be sure to report any significant developments in the upcoming months and let you know if we require any additional support regarding our efforts

If you have any further questions regarding anything presented in this communication then please feel free to follow up directly with Jonathan Nyquist (jonathan@go-nyquest.com) or Mark Diamond (mark@manitoucamp.com).

Sincerely,

Mark Diamond, Jonathan Nyquist
Team Leaders for Temporary Foreign Worker File – CCA Government Relations Committee