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The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) calling for changes to immigration system

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Letter by the CCA requests the Federal Government look closely at improving Canada ‘s immigration system with “meaningful reform” facilitating entry into Canada ‘s booming construction industry.

Construction is the single largest industry sector in Canada and it is also experiencing the greatest unfilled labour demand. According to the Construction Sector Council, in the next eight years, roughly 150,000 people will be required to meet impending worker shortages.

Due to the unwavering demand for skilled trades people, the CCA is formally asking the federal government to introduce changes to the immigration system that will facilitate entry of construction workers into Canada on both a temporary and permanent basis.

“Although aggressive efforts by all industry players must continue in order to recruit Canadians to the construction industry, the fact remains that immigration policy must play a bigger role in meeting future labour demand,” explains Michael Atkinson, President of the Canadian Construction Association.

In its request to Prime Minister Harper, CCA is issuing the following

• Canada needs to adopt a proactive immigration policy that will
target individuals with needed skills, and expedite their entry into Canada .

• The points system used to screen for permanent residents
must be revised to put greater emphasis on experience and
arranged employment in specific high demand skills categories.

• Under the Temporary Worker Program, the list of accepted
occupations must be expanded to include construction trades, and
there must also be quicker recognition of shortages that would qualify
under the Temporary Worker Program.

• A program similar to the existing ‘Seasonal Agricultural Worker
Program’ (SAWP) should be available to the construction industry.

• A process should be developed to resolve the issue of
undocumented workers that does not involve deportation.

• The federal government needs to work more closely with provinces to expand the ‘Provincial Nominee Programs’ addressing the specific needs of Canada ‘s construction trades.