Left to Right - Mississauga-Streetsville MP Gagan Sikand, Minister Navdeep Bains, Nick Green, Minister John McCallum, Ben Bergen
Left to Right - Mississauga-Streetsville MP Gagan Sikand, Minister Navdeep Bains, Nick Green, Minister John McCallum, Ben Bergen

Published: November 30th, 2016

MISSISSAUGA – The Canadian government is making good on its promise to make it easier for companies to bring in highly skilled talent from across the world.

Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Navdeep Bains and Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship John McCallum were on hand in Mississauga this morning to unveil the federal government’s plan for importing skilled labour into the country – the Global Skills Strategy.

“We have great talent in this country, but we need that global talent that is critical to our growth,” McCallum said at the media event. “High talent acquisition accelerates growth.”

The Global Skills Strategy, which the ministers said will be implemented by mid-2017, has three key tenets:

  1. Establish an ambitious two-week standard for processing visas and work permits for low-risk, high-skill talent for companies doing business in Canada.
  2. Create a dedicated service channel for companies looking to make large, job-creating investments in Canada.
  3. Drop the work permit requirement for very short-term work (for instance, 30 days or less) in low-risk fields. Brief academic stays would also be eligible.

“We must ensure that our country has the right people with the right skills so that it can grow,” said Bains. “Our governments will make it easier for companies to bring in highly skilled talent.”

McCallum clarified that visas won’t be suddenly processed in two weeks for everyone, only a subset of people that the government recognizes as a priority. A mixture of both work permits and permanent residencies will become available for those who qualify for that two week processing period.

“We know that when talented researchers, innovators, and leaders are able to provide their expertise, even temporarily, their work can have a multiplier effect on job creation. In the global competition for highly-skilled people, it is crucial that these types of workers can get here quickly,” McCallum said.

Another important component of the strategy is making Canada an appealing place for businesses to invest in, regardless of whether they are Canadian- or foreign-based. Bringing in global talent is a start to doing that, the ministers said.

Bains used the headquarters of CMO firm Therapure Biopharma Inc., where the announcement was made, as an example. Nick Green, the company’s CEO and president, is part of a global team that immigrated to Canada to ultimately create a business that now employs hundreds of people, the vast majority of them are Canadians. Bringing Green into Canada resulted in the creation of hundreds of Canadian jobs.

Ultimately, the government hopes to create more Canadian jobs by making it easier to invest in the country, regardless of where that investor originates, the ministers said.

“One key hire can attract many others. This critical mass of talent enables the start-up of new companies,” said Bains. “Tapping into a large pool of highly trained people – both in Canada, and abroad – will set this country up for success as a global innovation leader.”

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