Evidence of meeting #9 for Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities in the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was continue.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Catrina Tapley  Deputy Minister, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
Philippe Massé  Director General, Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Skills and Employment Branch, Department of Employment and Social Development
Louis Dumas  Acting Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

12:50 p.m.

Director General, Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Skills and Employment Branch, Department of Employment and Social Development

Philippe Massé

That is part of the assessment. That's not the only element that we look at, as I've just mentioned. Of course, the labour force survey is not up to date, and we're looking at other pieces that we can bring to bear.

12:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Vis Conservative Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, BC

Okay. Thank you.

To immigration, can you please provide the total number of new work permits issued since March 15, 2020, and under what classifications?

We've already heard the ag numbers from the minister, so I would assume that the other numbers would be available too.

12:50 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Catrina Tapley

We're happy to get back to the committee, Mr. Chair.

12:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Vis Conservative Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, BC

Thank you. I would specifically like information on the total number under skill levels A, B, C and D broken down for all committee members, if possible.

To Citizenship and Immigration, how many temporary foreign workers are expected to arrive in May and June, including agriculture? We heard the agriculture numbers, so I would assume you have the other numbers, too.

12:50 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Catrina Tapley

I have the agriculture numbers in front of me. Other numbers will be down considerably to what they have been in previous years, given difficulties travelling. No, I don't have those exact projections in front of me.

12:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Vis Conservative Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, BC

If you could please provide that information to all committee members, that would be very helpful, and please provide which work permits would fall under essential services and which would not.

Again to the deputy minister, since March 15, how many work permits have been renewed in Canada? I believe that the minister said this was a priority, and this follows along the lines of questioning earlier.

12:50 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Catrina Tapley

Mr. Dumas, would you have that, by any chance?

May 8th, 2020 / 12:50 p.m.

Acting Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Louis Dumas

I do not, but we'd be happy to get back to the committee with that information.

12:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Vis Conservative Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, BC

Okay.

To the officials at ESDC, how do you believe the new labour force survey data, which was issued just today, impacts your determination to move forward in determining who should be issued a favourable LMIA survey? As you will note, it said that more than one-third of the potential labour force have not worked or have worked less than half of their usual hours since March 15.

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Please give a short answer.

12:50 p.m.

Director General, Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Skills and Employment Branch, Department of Employment and Social Development

Philippe Massé

We're, of course, looking at that as well as other data that becomes available, such as data from our CERB and EI systems, to inform those assessments. Of course, that is reflected in the guidance given to officers assessing applications.

12:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Vis Conservative Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, BC

Thank you very much.

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Thank you, Mr. Vis.

12:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Vis Conservative Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, BC

I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.

Can it be the will of the committee that we receive the answers I asked for from the officials within 10 business days?

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

I don't see that as unreasonable. I would ask the witnesses to make their best efforts to provide the information in a timely fashion.

12:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Vis Conservative Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Ms. Young, you have five minutes, please.

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kate Young Liberal London West, ON

I would like to give my time to Mr. Dong, if he's there.

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

Han Dong Liberal Don Valley North, ON

Yes, I'm right here. Thank you, Kay, for giving me your time.

Thank you, Chair.

I want to thank the officials for being here with us at the committee today.

In my riding, which is a very diverse riding, there are many neighbourhoods that house newcomers and some international students as well. For example, in Parkway Forest there are lots of young professionals and recent graduates who went through the study permit program, and they are looking at the provincial nominee program as a pathway to citizenship. For example, people will be taking a master's degree and, in certain fields after two years' study, sometimes they're waiting for the opening of the PNP, because they're in suspense throughout the year. There is, unfortunately, a lot of unpredictability in the PNP.

To the officials, are we working on increased transparency or predictability of PNPs, particularly in Ontario, when it comes to the student stream?

12:55 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Catrina Tapley

Mr. Chair, we work closely with our provincial counterparts. The additional transparency in the Ontario program would be the responsibility of the Province of Ontario. I would add that we have continued with express entry draws throughout this period. We've done some rather large draws, and when we've done those larger draws, that minimum cut-off score has lowered a bit, which has been helpful, particularly to more of the students who were in that pool.

12:55 p.m.

Liberal

Han Dong Liberal Don Valley North, ON

That's great.

With COVID-19 going forward, because we have a very ambitious goal to welcome 350,000 immigrants to Canada, as was announced, are you looking to expand the PNP program and give more numbers to the provinces, large provinces like Ontario?

12:55 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Catrina Tapley

Mr. Chair, at this time we're not looking to make changes to the levels planned that the minister announced on March 12. I believe the minister indicated this in response to another question. We are thinking about next year's levels plan. We started consultations with province and territories around the levels plan, and we are now considering how best to do broader consultation throughout the summer so that we can come forward. As you know, we have a statutory obligation to table our levels by November 1.

12:55 p.m.

Liberal

Han Dong Liberal Don Valley North, ON

That's very good to know. I encourage you to consult with as many professionals in various communities as possible, because I'm sure the message you will be hearing will be very different now, considering COVID is affecting our economy and a demand for labour in various fields.

I want to move to people who apply for citizenship and haven't been able to become a Canadian citizen due to the cancellation of their citizenship ceremony.

Is IRCC considering any alternative ways to help them complete the final steps to becoming a Canadian citizen?

12:55 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Catrina Tapley

Yes, as the minister indicated, we now have done one ceremony virtually, and we are looking at making sure we have plans in place to be able to proceed with more of those ceremonies.

12:55 p.m.

Liberal

Han Dong Liberal Don Valley North, ON

I strongly encourage you to do more of those ceremonies, and very quickly as well. Otherwise, we will have a backlog when this whole thing's over and put an additional burden on already very stressed-out citizenship judges, because I've been told they held many ceremonies across the country last year, so the virtual setting I think is the way to go.

My other question has a bit to do with what Ms. Kwan asked. Can you confirm to the committee again that receiving CERB will not affect one's ability to sponsor parents and grandparents?