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Ottawa to consider local exemptions to overhaul of foreign-worker program

Employment Minister Jason Kenney speaks at a news conference in Ottawa on Friday, June 20, 2014 on reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander is seen in background.


Employment Minister Jason Kenney says he's willing to consider regional exemptions to his recent overhaul of the temporary foreign worker program.

Kenney says he will consider changes in areas with very low levels of unemployment found within regions of higher unemployment.

(What is the Temporary Foreign Worker Program? Read The Globe's easy explanation)

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But Kenney says he won't compromise on the core goal of the overhaul: making sure employers don't use the program as a cheap source of labour when they could be hiring unemployed Canadians.

Kenney was speaking after a meeting in Charlottetown with provincial labour market ministers.

Allen Roach, P.E.I.'s innovation minister, says his fellow ministers expressed serious concerns about the changes directly to Kenney.

Their meeting came one day after western Canadian premiers gathering in Iqaluit criticized Ottawa on the changes to the temporary workers program.

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