Skilled foreigners will get invitation to stay

Temporary foreign workers and international students with recognized skills will be able to apply for permanent residency from within Canada under a new immigration class announced yesterday.

Immigration Minister Diane Finley said the program will be implemented in October and is part of an effort to make Canada more attractive to skilled foreigners.

"We want to take advantage of those credentials, of their demonstrated ability to integrate into the Canadian society by giving them the opportunity to stay here on a permanent basis without having to leave," Finley told The Canadian Press.

But critics panned the program, predicting it will create two classes of foreign workers -- the elite eligible for the fast-track and many temporary foreign workers, such as labourers, factory workers, chefs and farmers, who will be excluded from the program.

Jason Foster of the Alberta Federation of Labour said he's worried it will create a "class" issue.

Workers included are classified as A- and B-level workers, which is dependant on skill level. So-called unskilled foreign workers are in the 'C' and 'D' categories.

Ottawa Sun, Wednesday, August 13, 2008

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