Municipality shows support for changes to federal program
Sun Peaks Resort Municipality has written a letter in support of changes to the temporary foreign worker program.
Various members of the tourism industry have lobbied John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, to make an exemption to the program for tourism jobs, similar to the changes made to better accommodate the agricultural industry.
In the letter, Mayor Al Raine wrote that following changes made to the federal program in 2014, owners of tourism businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, have struggled to find and retain employees.
Raine added that for Sun Peaks and other winter resorts it’s especially difficult because students, who make up much of the temporary or seasonal workforce, are in classes during the busiest season.
“For the tourism industry in rural areas it is hard to find enough employees,” said Raine. “There is definitely an impact on Sun Peaks.”
Raine said he believed it’s important for the municipality to share their thoughts and opinions when issues that impact the area are looked at.
A review of the program was completed in September 2016 by a committee made up of members of parliament over a three month period and recognized the hospitality industry was impacted by the restrictions. It recommended creating a program to make hiring foreign workers in hospitality and some tourism jobs easier.
The opinion from members of the official opposition included in the review was that a program similar to the agriculture program is necessary.
The federal government has said it will act on the report within three months.