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  • Alberta Businesses Share their Stories:

    A survey on the Impact of the Temporary Foreign

    Worker Program in Alberta and recent changes

  • In July of 2014, the Alberta Chambers of Commerce conducted a survey of businesses associated with member chambers throughout the province who employed temporary foreign workers. Businesses voluntarily participated in the survey, sharing their perspectives on the Temporary

    Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the federal government’s recently announced changes.

    This report captures the fi ndings of that survey. These stories refl ect the perspective of Alberta

    businesses on the temporary foreign worker program. Specifi cally, they show the negative

    impact that recent changes have had on business, the challenges that have arisen because of

    them, and, most importantly, businesses’ outlook towards the future.

    The identities of the respondents have been

    kept confi dential to ensure candid responses

    and all responses were voluntarily given. These

    businesses are members of the Alberta chamber

    network which is comprised of 128 community

    chambers representing 26,000 businesses across

    the province.

    Location Responses came from communities across the province including:

    Airdrie

    Athabasca

    Balzac

    Bonnyville

    Calgary

    Camrose

    Cochrane

    Cold Lake

    Crossfi eld

    Devon

    Didsbury

    Drayton Valley

    Edmonton

    Edson

    Fairview

    Fort St. John

    Grande Cache

    Grande Prairie

    Grimshaw

    Hanna

    High Level

    High Prairie

    Hinton

    Jasper

    Leduc

    Lethbridge

    Lloydminster

    Manning

    Morinville

    Oxford

    Oyen

    Peace River

    Ponoka

    Red Deer

    Rocky Mountain House

    Sexsmith

    Slave Lake

    Spruce Grove

    St. Isidore

    St. Paul

    Stoney Plain

    Taber

    Vegreville

    Vermillion

    Wanham

    Wetaskawin

    Wood Buff alo/Fort McMurray

    The business survey was conducted via

    an online submission process. We have

    reproduced their comments without editing,

    therefore, readers may notice spelling errors

    and grammar issues. We felt it most important

    to reproduce these comments verbatim to

    reduce any risk of misquote.

  • Industry Respondents came from a variety of industries.

    Facts about the respondents Over 40% of those businesses which responded have been in operation

    for more than 20 years

    24.2% of respondents indicated that they pay their workers (both domestic and foreign) more than $20 an hour

    Businesses varied in size. 48.4% of respondents were small businesses (indicating that they employed 20 or fewer Canadians)

    Answer Response Ratio

    Oil and Gas 6.4%

    Other Resource Extraction

  • Statistics

    Businesses were asked about their general perspective of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Of those businesses surveyed, 87% indicated that it was not easy to obtain temporary foreign workers

    93% disagreed with the idea that temporary foreign workers are a cheap source of labour

    91% felt that they had exhausted every option to obtain Canadian workers

    85% felt that temporary foreign workers improve the viability of their business

    Businesses were also asked, specifi cally, about the recent changes to the program and how they will impact them. Of those businesses surveyed, 30% were either very likely or somewhat likely to downsize the number of Canadian Workers that they employed.

    58% were either very likely or somewhat likely to reduce their hours of operation

    79% were either very likely or somewhat likely to be unable to grow their business in the near future

    23% were either very likely or somewhat likely to have to close their business in the near future.

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