The AHLA is a member-driven organization that represents the interests of more than 850 hotels, motels and campgrounds across the province. Since 1922, our association has provided a common voice to important issues that affect Alberta’s tourism and hospitality industry. Our philosophy of creating value through partnership has resulted in tremendous benefits for our industry.

We are driven by our mission to support our members and strengthen Alberta’s tourism and hospitality industry. Knowing what we stand for is important. It inspires us to create outstanding value and deliver exemplary service to our members.

Changes to the TFW Program Announced

Employment Minister Jason Kenney and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced an overhaul of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program. The revised program is based on three pillars:

  • Limiting access,

  • Increased labour market information and

  • Stronger enforcement and penalties.

Overhauling the Temporary Foreign Worker Program contains complete details about the changes announced today, which include:

  • The TFWP will now be administered based on wage, not National Occupation Classification.  According to the government, wage is a more objective and accurate reflection of skill level and labour need in a given area.  TFWs being paid under the median wage will be considered low wage.  In Alberta, the median wage is $24.23.

  • Employers in areas with unemployment exceeding 6% will not be able to apply for TFWs in the accommodation, food services and retail sectors.  Alberta’s unemployment rate is 4.6%.

  • Phasing in a cap on the number of TFWs a business can employ. 

    • Effective immediately, employers that currently employ more than 30% low wage TFWs will be limited at 30% or frozen at their current level.

    • This will be reduced to 20% starting July 1, 2015.

    • This will be further reduced to 10% starting July 1, 2016

TFWs currently working at work sites over the cap will be allowed to continue working at those sites until their existing work permits expire.

  • Labour Market Opinions will be replaced with Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA).  Employers will be required to:

    • Indicate the number of Canadians that applied for their available job,

    • Indicate the number of Canadians the employer interviewed,

    • Explain why those Canadians were not hired and

    • Attest that they are aware of the rule that Canadians cannot be laid off or have their hours reduced at a worksite that employs TFWs.

  • Effective immediately, the duration of work permits set out in LMIAs will be limited to a maximum of one year for all low wage positions instead of the two year duration that existed previously.  Employers will have to reapply every year for an LMIA.  The fee to apply increases from $275 to $1,100.

“These changes will only increase the structural labour gap our members already face,” said Dave Kaiser, the AHLA’s President & CEO.  “They do nothing to address regional disparities, and do not reflect labour market realities in Alberta.  These changes create an unnecessary burden and significant cost to our members.  This overhaul will result in reduced service, limited hours of operation and even closures for some businesses in Alberta’s hospitality industry.” 

The AHLA will continue working with all levels of government to develop a Hotel and Lodging Worker Program that works for our industry.

If Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association currently employs Temporary Foreign Workers that you would like to retain, we encourage you to nominate them to become Permanent Residents through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program.

AHLA Members Influence Changes to AGLC Due Diligence Requirements

After significant feedback from the AHLA and our members, AGLC has reviewed its due diligence requirements for Gaming Entertainment Centres (GECs) and reduced the extensive disclosure requirements previously implemented.  If your property has a GEC, you should already have been informed about these changes.

To learn more about the changes, view GEC Due Diligence Changes Letter or call AGLC’s Russell Hildebrand at (780) 577-6924.