Government relations is an important service to our members. CERC has built a strong and effective voice with the federal and provincial governments. We strive to provide constructive and practical solutions to the challenges of workforce mobility that will benefit our members and improve Canada’s economy.
Attracting internationally trained workers is central to the continued success of Canada’s economy. Even though unemployment remains high, skills gaps exist within the Canadian economy. As the workforce ages, acute shortages are expected in key industries such as health care, education, skilled trades and the professions. Immigration is, and will continue to be, an important source of replacement human capital in the Canadian economy.
Below are highlights of recent activities to improve employee mobility.
CERC is pleased to participate in the The Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD). The GFMD’s objectives are to improve the level of cooperation between governments and business to improve the orderly flows of international migration and improve regulatory frameworks governing international mobility.
In 2011, the Canadian and U.S. governments agreed to strengthen trade relations between our two countries, under the Beyond The Border Action Plan. The Action Plan includes commitments to improve cross border mobility.
CERC, in collaboration with several leading business organizations in both Canada and the U.S. has developed a series of constructive recommendations that will address many of the challenges employees encounter at ports of entry. We are pleased that several of these proposals have been implemented.
In addition to improving processes for the recruitment of international talent through Canada’s immigration system, CERC has urged the federal government to take steps to improve inter-provincial mobility within Canada.Taxation policy has a direct impact on the cost and success of employee relocation. Over the past several years we have been providing input to government on changes to the treatment of moving expenses and relocation benefits. In 2008 CERC was successful in pressing the Canada Revenue Agency to revise its Employers Guide which included regressive changes to current practices in the tax treatment of relocation allowances.
Canada is engaged in several free trade agreement negotiations with its trading partners. Those agreements include provisions for labour mobility. CERC has been offering support and input to Canadian negotiators to ensure we have mobility provisions that are of benefit to the Canadian economy.
In September 2013 CERC led a coalition of business groups in Canada and the U.S. in writing to trade Minister Ed Fast and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman, calling for a contemporary framework for developing the labour mobility provisions of the TPP between Canada and the U.S.