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CCA supports Kenney’s proposed immigration reforms to address labour shortages


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March 2, 2012 by Andrew Snook

Jason Kenney gave a keynote speech at the National Metropolis Conference on Thursday, March 1, in Toronto, Ont. where he spoke about proposed reforms to speed up the processing of people looking to immigrate to Canada as skilled workers.
Jason Kenney gave a keynote speech at the National Metropolis Conference on Thursday, March 1, in Toronto, Ont. where he spoke about proposed reforms to speed up the processing of people looking to immigrate to Canada as skilled workers.

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada Jason Kenney gave a keynote speech addressing labour shortages that hit the nail on the head for the Canadian Construction Association (CCA).

While giving his keynote address to the National Metropolis Conference in Toronto, Ont., Kenney spoke about proposed reforms to speed up the processing of people looking to immigrate to Canada as skilled workers.

The CCA stated that those measurements could be instrumental in addressing current and future labour shortages in Canada’s construction industry. 

Michael Atkinson, president of the CCA, said the current immigration system doesn’t adequately address the Canadian construction industry’s needs or the projected growth of the Canadian economy.

The CCA said that current projections show the Canadian construction industry will have a shortfall of 325,000 workers by 2019; and that demand for construction services in Canada will continue to increase throughout the decade, making Canada the fifth-largest construction market in the world.

Kenney’s speech emphasized changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, which currently requires applicants to have experience in one of 29 occupations in demand or have a job offer in Canada. He also discussed a need to make the points system for assessing federal skilled worker applicants “more flexible and intelligent.”

Kenney said greater emphasis should be placed on the importance of language and recognizing that language abilities required for successful integration into Canada are different depending on type of employment, using the example of comparing the requirements for a doctor as opposed to a welder.

He also said Canada’s immigration system should place greater emphasis on younger workers with high-quality credentials that can be recognized quickly.