Canada Launches New Construction Pilot Project 2019

By Casey September 5, 2019 2 min. read

The Canadian Labour Congress is working with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to implement a temporary initiative that will help 500 out-of-status construction workers and their families find a pathway to permanent residence. This is in hopes that it will end the insecure nature of their employment and immigration status in Canada.

Out-of-status workers are people who have come to Canada with valid temporary residence status, but have fallen out of status for various reasons, and have found employment in the construction industry. Without status, these workers have continued to fill labour shortages, while contributing greatly to Canada’s society and economy. However, fear of detection, detainment, and deportation drives these workers and their families “unseen,” often limiting their access to social programs, and making them vulnerable to employer exploitation and abuse.

The Temporary Public Policy for Out-of-Status Construction Workers in the Greater Toronto Area responds to a recent parliamentary report on labour shortages in the construction industry in the GTA, and reflects observations from numerous studies about the sensitivity of out-of-status workers.

The CLC says it will be engaging at the highest level of due diligence to ensure the safety and security of any applicants who come forward to take part in this initiative.

The application process for out-of-status construction workers will begin on Sept. 3.

Construction workers looking to enroll in the project will first contact the CLC to determine their eligibility to enter. Applicants that are eligible will then be referred to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Spouses and children may be included in the application for permanent residence.

The public policy will take effect on Jan. 2, 2020, and will end on Jan. 1, 2022 or once 500 principal applicants have been granted permanent residence, whichever comes first.

According to the latest forecast by Build Force Canada, a national industry-led workforce management research group, Ontario needs an additional 26,100 construction workers in the next 10 years as 91,100 people currently working in the sector will reach retirement age.

“Toronto is very busy right now with all the condo, infrastructure and transit projects. It’s tough to build projects when you don’t have the labour. It causes delays and increases costs. That’s not going to be of benefit to anyone,” said Andrew Pariser, vice-president of RESCON, a leading association of residential builders in Ontario.

Are You Interested in Canada’s Construction Pilot Project?

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