OTTAWA – The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) issued the following statement in response to the announcement by the Human Resources and Skills Development (HRSDC) and Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism departments of changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. For years, ALPA has led efforts to tighten the rules governing the program under which Canadian airlines are currently able to augment their crews on a seasonal basis with foreign pilots.
“ALPA has long-advocated for reforming the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to ensure that Canadian airline pilots benefit from available aviation job opportunities. Of the announced changes, the requirement that employers who rely on temporary foreign workers must have a firm plan in place to transition to a Canadian workforce over time through the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) process is welcomed.
“This specific policy change is in line with information recently obtained by ALPA that one of the airlines which relies heavily on the program will, in the future, be expected to make investments in training for Canadian pilots commensurate with 25 percent of their annual requirement for foreign pilots via the LMO process, thereby gradually eliminating the need for foreign crews.
“While we have made progress, ALPA remains concerned that aviation jobs continue to be outsourced to foreign workers at a time when a number of highly qualified Canadian pilots are unemployed. Through our ongoing work with regulators and legislators, ALPA continues to advocate for further reforms to this and other programs under which foreign pilots are hired. We will not let up in our efforts to protect our members’ jobs and bring furloughed Canadian pilots back to work.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 50,000 pilots at 34 airlines in the United States and Canada, including the 2,800 Canadian flight crewmembers who fly for Air Transat, Bearskin, Calm Air, Canadian North, CanJet, First Air, Jazz Aviation, Kelowna Flightcraft, and Wasaya. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org