Restaurants Warn Temporary Foreign Workers Ban Might Lead to Closures

Canada’s restaurant sector has warned that the federal government’s recent surprising decision to impose an immediate suspension on restaurants to hire temporary foreign workers would immediately increase waiting hours and might even lead to the possibility of closure for businesses.

Executive Vice-President of Government Affairs for Restaurants Canada, Joyce Reynolds, mentioned in a statement that restaurant shut downs and long lineups were a reality in Alberta before Ottawa approved the program and those problems are now likely to return. Reynolds alleged that “we’re getting calls from members saying we don’t know how we’re going to be able to keep our restaurants open.” Furthermore, she elucidated that “we’re expecting that we may return to the days when restaurants close due to lack of staff and huge lineups out the door and hours of operation curtailed and parts of the operation shut down. We can only serve you on the patio. We’re going to have to close our restaurant inside. Those are the types of things that happened in Alberta and we anticipate that these types of things are going to start happening again.”

Employment Minister, Jason Kenney, made a surprise announcement on Thursday to impose an immediate moratorium on allowing restaurants to hire temporary foreign workers. Citing a reason for the governments’ hasty decision, Kenny explained that employees from all over the country have complained in large number about being replaced by temporary foreign workers. In his statement, Kenney mentioned that “there remain serious concerns regarding the use of the temporary foreign worker program in the food services sector.”

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