First step to address the labour shortage in Canada

Last week I went into a Best Buy to buy ink for my printer. To my surprise, I got to the store at 10:30 am, and the store was closed. A sign on the door said the store was opening at 11:00 am. So I waited with about 50 other people for the store to open. Once inside, I talked to a manager and asked why the store opened so late; he replied, “We do not have staff to open earlier, and we close at 7 pm”. A store like Best Buy is only open 8 hours a day or a shift so as not to overwork their current staff and potentially lose them.

The government just took the first significant step towards addressing the labour shortage that is affecting the country. Some background information, international students, were only allowed to work 20 hours per week outside their educational institutions. This work permit is known as an “Off-Campus Work Permit,” At one point, every student had to apply for this type of work permit. Now the work authorization comes printed into the student permit once approved. 

Today the Government of Canada temporarily removed the cap to allow international students to work full-time while their class is in session until December of 2023. There are over a million job openings in Canada and no people to fill them. 

Stats Canada issued the labour report today and shows that the unemployment rate fell to 5.2%, meaning fewer people are looking for work and more companies are looking to hire.

This step is the first real step that the government has taken to address this shortage, given that there are half a million International students currently in Canada. By allowing them to join the workforce, our economy will benefit.

Today’s news is good for international students and great news for Canada’s economy and employers of all sizes. The only way we have to be able to make Canada in general affordable again is through immigration. 

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