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Immigration consultants offer to pair firms with temporary foreign workers

OTTAWA - Immigration consultants, many in Western Canada, are apparently now specializing in pairing employers and temporary foreign workers.

One online advertisement placed in several provinces even pledges to help temporary foreign workers find employers instead of the other way around.

The ad asks whether such workers are looking for employers, and says it has access to 800 jobs and a complete list of all the companies in Canada seeking temporary foreign workers.

The owner of the company did not immediately respond to requests for an interview.

But the company's sales pitch turns on its head the standard procedure in place for companies to obtain temporary foreign workers under Ottawa's embattled program.

Employers must first make an attempt to find qualified Canadian workers before applying for a labour market opinion — called an LMO — in order to hire someone from abroad, not turn to a bank of temporary foreign workers.

Companies are required to place ads on the federal government's online job bank and prove they've made other attempts to find Canadian employees.

Critics of the procedure, however, charge that it's easy for a company to think up bogus requirements in their job ads.

Other companies are advertising similar services regarding temporary foreign workers on Kijiji and other job sites.

Employment Minister Jason Kenney, who took aim against "crooked" immigration consultants when he was in charge of immigration, is vowing to crack down on abusers of the temporary foreign workers program.

A new slate of rule changes is expected to be announced soon.

Follow Lee-Anne Goodman on Twitter at @leeanne25

The Canadian Press

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