Temporary foreign workers increase in number

Alberta’s totals worry provincial Federation of Labour
By Lorna Harris
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 09/03/2008

Citizenship and Immigration Canada recently published data on the number of temporary foreign workers (TFWs) employed in Canada. Workers from other parts of the world are brought to Canada to respond to variations in market needs across the employment spectrum but especially in the construction sector where many construction workers and tradespeople lack the points necessary to qualify as permanent residents. Off-shore agricultural workers are another large group of such employees.

From 2003 to 2007, the number of TFWs almost doubled across Canada — from 110,476 in 2003 to 201,057 five years later in 2007. Only Newfoundland and Labrador showed a decrease. One and one-half times as many TFWs were given permission to work in Ontario and Quebec in 2007 as in 2003.

In Alberta, however, over three times as many temporary foreign workers were employed in 2007 as in 2003 (37,257 compared to 11,462).