The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has signalled its strong support for a robust immigration system that is responsive to the Canadian economy. CTA made a formal submission on the future vision as part of consultations which Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently wrapped up.
The trucking industry has one of the highest job vacancy rates and the oldest workforce in the country, CTA said in a news release.
“Trucking’s labor shortages affect all Canadians and all Canadian businesses both directly and indirectly. In turn, trucking has a much larger economic multiplier than most other sectors – meaning investments made in trucking’s labor force pays some of the highest dividends to Canada’s overall economy,” CTA said.
The submission also made comments on key programs like Express Entry, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and concepts such as ‘Known Employer’ programs. When it comes to Express Entry, the CTA submission laid out both short- and longer-term reforms that could be made to better allow the program to be responsive to the trucking industry’s needs.
Express Entry program
“As IRCC and the Government of Canada know, the economy and the skills that are most needed to sustain it are changing. The Express Entry program itself is also changing with the inclusion of occupations like trucking, which have historically been excluded from these types of programs,” said Jonathan Blackham, CTA’s director of policy and public affairs.
As the NOC system itself has changed to better categorize and recognize the true classification of occupations, Blackham says immigration programs like Express Entry will need to similarly adapt to ensure the most in-demand jobs, like truck drivers, are being prioritized.
Longstanding issues relating to the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process, processing times, consistency of service, among others, were also raised as part of the submission. In addition, CTA highlighted labor abuses and issues relating to Driver Inc., employee misclassification and other schemes that seek to suppress and manipulate workers in the sector.
The submission also contained detailed information on trucking’s role as an essential service, its position as the lead freight mode, and its overall importance to the Canadian economy. It also discussed relevant public opinion polling, and the business case for improved access to key immigration programs and pathways.
Credit: trucknews.com by: Today's Trucking