Manitoba and Alberta call on Sean Fraser to Extend work permits expiring in 2023-24:
The provinces of Manitoba and Alberta have made a joint call to the federal government of Canada to extend all Work Permits for international workers that are set to expire in 2023 and 2024. The Minister of Labour and Immigration of Manitoba, Honorable Jon Reyes, and the Deputy Premier of Alberta, Honorable Kaycee Madu, have both expressed their support for the extension of these work permits.
In a letter written by Minister Reyes to The Honorable Sean Fraser, he highlights the long wait times for Permanent Residency (PR) applications with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the significant contribution that international students and workers make to the local economies of Manitoba. Minister Reyes encourages Minister Fraser to extend the work permits to help these skilled workers continue to work in Canada and fill critical shortages. Minister also emphasized the financial loss and difficulties local businesses in Manitoba were facing in the growing labour market of Canada.
Due to long PR application wait times with @CitImmCanada, I encourage Minister @SeanFraserMP to extend any work permit expiring in 2023 to 2024 to help those skilled workers to continue working in Canada while waiting for their PR application to be processed. #cdnpoli #mbpoli pic.twitter.com/J3x0TkMWRL
— Jon Reyes (@MinJonReyes) March 13, 2023
In support of this call by Manitoba, The Deputy Premier of Alberta, Kaycee Madu retweeted Minister Reyes’s tweet and said:
“Thanks Minister @MinJonReyes. Alberta appreciate this as well”
— Kaycee Madu (@KayceeMaduYEG) March 13, 2023
What was the Issue facing Work Permit Holders?
Thousands of Post Graduate work permit holders in Canada were calling on the Federal government to extend their work permits like their peers in 2022, who were granted an additional 18 month Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) extension in 2022. Workers with status set to expire on or before December 31, 2022 were eligible for this extension which was announced as a Public Policy.
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In a recent confrontation with international students on February 06, 2023, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser acknowledged the challenges faced by PGWP holders and stated that retaining international talent is a big part of Canada’s economic strategy. He added that the government is looking into different options to figure out what can be done to clear a pathway for these individuals. Minister also recognized the significant contributions made by the Foreign workers into the Canadian Economy and said:
We were in a similar challenge last year and we did an extension at the time. We are looking into different options to keep as many workers in Canada as this is part of our Economic strategy. I want to work towards solving some problems, and clear highly skilled workers’ path to permanent residency”- Minister Sean Fraser
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Minister Jon Reyes’s Letter to Honorable Sean Fraser:
Honorable Minister of Labour and Immigration of Manitoba, Jon Reyes wrote a letter to Honorable Sean Fraser calling on the Federal Government to extend any work permits expiring in 2023 and 2024. Minister encouraged Sean Fraser to implement such policy and said that The Province of Manitoba would support it. Jon Reyes shared this letter in a tweet and later the Deputy Premier of Alberta Kaycee Madu supported this call through a tweet.
Following is the letter Minister Jon Reyes wrote to Sean Fraser:
An announcement from the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) regarding the PGWP extension is expected to be made in March 2023. The call by Manitoba and Alberta for a work permit extension highlights the importance of supporting international students and workers in Canada and the positive impact they have on the local economies and communities. The federal government must act swiftly to retain this international talent and provide a clear path forward for these individuals.