The WSCA has asked the ministry of labour to look into delaying the actual implementation of the new regs following Cabinet approval to a date in the off season this summer.
The proposed changes to the Employment Standards Act regulations as they pertain to the silvicultural industry are in the office, if not on the desk, of the new minister of labour Joy MacPhail. However, just when they will get to Cabinet and to be proclaimed is hard to predict. Ministry of labour officials working with the WSCA were approached a week ago from the minister¹s office for more information on the proposed changes. This is being taken as a good sign. The WSCA has asked the ministry of labour to look into delaying the actual implementation of the new regs following Cabinet approval to a date in the off season this summer. This move would mitigate the chaos of having to bring in new payroll calculations in the peak work season for most silviculture companies. A WSCA request to release the proposed regulations now prior to Cabinet approval to allow contractors to calibrate their payrolls ahead of the new rules was turned down by the ministry.
Immigrant Recruitment Application Denied
Human Resources Development Canada is recommending against an application from a Lower Mainland silviculture firm to import 60 immigrant labourers from Mexico and India to plant trees in B.C. this year. The Foreign Worker Recruitment branch of HRDC which gives labour market advice on the impact of immigrant labour says there is no need to import silviculture workers into the province given the work shortages in the forest sector.
A HRDC official told the WSCA today that Citizenship and Immigration Canada which has the final authority on immigrant applications will likely abide by his branch¹s recommendations in spite of an ongoing appeal by the applicant company.
According to HRDC officials this is the first application by an employer to bring foreign workers into Canada to work temporarily on silviculture work. Foreign workers are restricted in numerous ways including only being allowed to work for the employer who brings them into the country. The employer applying to bring in these workers was anticipating working on ministry of forests treeplanting projects.
The WSCA fully supports the HRDC recommedation and has offered to assist in any other similar applications with input and policy advice on foreign worker recruitment and immigration issues.
Conference on WSCA Website
The best of this year’s WSCA annual conference is on the association website at www.wfca.ca Mike Apsey¹s dinner speech (very funny), workshop presentations, as well as the divergent views of the various panels are all in the process of being posted on the site. Look for our website official grand opening in the spring.