Toward a Revitalized Accelerated Labour Market Opinion Process: A Step in the Right Direction

By Karna Gupta, President and CEO, ITAC

I am encouraged to see that Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, is considering a revised Accelerated Labour Market Opinion process.

As I wrote in a white paper entitled ‘The Importance of Global Workers in Canada’s ICT Industry’ earlier this year, the cancellation of the process by the federal government on April 29 compounded the frustration felt by Canadian ICT companies that rely on highly skilled and specialized foreign workers to fill critical gaps the domestic labour market cannot address. To repeat my conclusion from my paper: “Given the competitiveness and the dynamic nature of the industry, the ICT sector needs processes that speed up recruitment of temporary and permanent foreign workers and make the processes of attracting them less cumbersome than they currently are.”

Minister Kenney told Postmedia News that he believes that a revamped Accelerated Labour Market Opinion process should focus on “really critical jobs with specialized skills that are paying a good salary in clearly in-demand occupations….” It is my hope that, in his deliberations, he considers the vital role that our sector plays in Canada’s economy (e.g., one million direct and indirect jobs; $155 billion in annual revenue; and the largest private-sector R&D contributor—five times larger than pharma, which holds second place), and the importance we place on finding individuals with unique skills and experience at critical functions to continue to build a versatile knowledge economy.

ITAC appreciates Minister Kenney’s continued diligence on this file, and I look forward to his further thoughts on revamping this important process.