The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has made a formal submission on the Future Vision of Canada’s Immigration System.
As part of consultations – which Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently wrapped up – CTA signaled its strong support for a robust immigration system that is responsive to the Canadian economy.
The trucking industry has one of the highest job vacancy rates and the oldest workforce in the country. The acute labour shortage in the industry is well documented and presents as one of the biggest threats to long term economic recovery and stability.
Trucking’s labour shortages affect all Canadians and all Canadian businesses both directly and indirectly. In turn, trucking has a much larger economic multiplier than most other sectors – meaning investments made in trucking’s labour force pays some of the highest dividends to Canada’s overall economy.
The submission also made comments on key programs like Express Entry, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and concepts such as ‘Known Employer’ programs. When it comes to express entry, the CTA submission laid out both short- and longer-term reforms that could be made to better allow the program to be responsive to the trucking industry’s needs.
“As IRCC and the Government of Canada know, the economy and the skills that are most needed to sustain it are changing. The Express Entry program itself is also changing with the inclusion of occupations like trucking, which have historically been excluded from these types of programs” said Jonathan Blackham, CTA’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs.
As the NOC system itself has changed to better categorize and recognize the true classification of occupations, Blackham says immigration programs like Express Entry will need to similarly adapt to ensure the most in-demand jobs, like truck drivers, are being prioritized.
Long standing issues relating to the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process, processing times, consistency of service, among others, were also raised as part of the submission. In addition, CTA highlighted labour abuses and issues relating to Driver Inc., employee misclassification and other schemes that seek to suppress and manipulate workers in our sector. This is why CTA has been a longstanding champion of the Government’s proposal to bring in Trusted/ Known Employer programs that would involve detailed vetting of participating companies to ensure that newcomers are being treated and paid fairly.
The submission also contained detailed information on trucking’s role as an essential service, its position as the lead freight mode, and its overall importance to the Canadian economy. The submission also discussed relevant public opinion polling, and the business case for improved access to key immigration programs and pathways.