News

New TFWP fees a big blow to Mount Washington

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

Mount Washington Alpine Resort is feeling the effects of changes made to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which helps fill labour shortages when Canadians or permanent residents are not available to fill job vacancies.

In spring, amid allegations the program was being abused, federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney had placed a temporary ban on restaurants that prevented them from accessing the program. He lifted the moratorium in June when he announced an overhaul of the program. Reforms included an increase to the Labour Market Impact Assessment fee from $275 to $1,000 for every temporary foreign worker position requested by an employer.

Don Sharpe, director of business operations and marketing at Mount Washington, says the Valley’s ski resort has traditionally hired about 30 snow school instructors through the TFWP.

The first year, at $250, cost $7,500.

But with the $1,000 increase in the past year, the bill jumps to $30,000.

While the $250 could be justified for processing applications, Sharpe has a difficult time justifying the $1,000.

“From our perspective, we always would like to hire Canadians where we can,” Sharpe said. “The challenge is, from the snow school perspective, there aren’t enough Canadians that want to teach skiing or snowboarding…This is impacting the whole snow sports industry.”

He says there are about 15,000 employees in the western Canadian ski industry: 70 per cent Canadian and 30 per cent foreign nationals.

“Every ski resort now is competing for any Canadian that happens to be an instructor. We don’t have enough existing people to fill those roles,” said Sharpe, noting only about 10 per cent of qualified people use their certification to teach.

“Our gap is about 30 people. The issue is they don’t exist.”

The mountain, therefore, needs to hire temporary foreign workers to fill holes.

“We just don’t have enough people that have the certification to provide the skill that we need,” Sharpe said.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com


 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

HOMEFINDER: Creating a livable neighbourhood
 
Local foodies head to Terra Madre
 
Bear Buzz - October 1
Alberni First rolls out slate of candidates for municipal election
 
Frank N. Stein helps students learn
 
CVRD fighting recent appeal-court victory by Paldi crematorium owners
Pratt announces run for mayor
 
Larger retail audience for artists on the fringe
 
Campbell River Hospice raffle could get you to ‘zoom-zoom’

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 30 edition online now. Browse the archives.