Alberta made half of all requests for fast-tracked approval of temporary foreign workers between 2011 and 2013, but Ontario was far more successful in getting fast-tracked requests granted by Ottawa, according to CBC News analysis of statistics provided by the government.
Alberta made nearly 9,100 requests over the three years for the Accelerated Labour Market Opinions needed by employers to justify the hiring of temporary foreign workers. Of those, the federal government approved 6,303, or 69 per cent.
- Temporary foreign worker overhaul imposes limits, hikes inspections
- Temporary foreign workers hired in areas with EI claimants
That was still nearly half of the total number of accelerated requests granted to provinces and territories in that period.
Ontario had the second-largest chunk of accelerated requests, 4,147, of which 3,490, or 84 per cent, were approved. British Columbia was third, with 2,890 requests for fast-tracked approvals, with 1,997 granted by Ottawa for a success rate of 69 per cent.
The government released the figures to the Liberal Party in response to an order paper question from leader Justin Trudeau, who wanted statistics on the number of regular labour market opinions broken down by province for the years 2011 to 2013, as well as the accelerated requests.
The statistics do not specify the jobs at play. But in the past Alberta and B.C. have been criticized for using the program to recruit low-skilled workers such as the fast-food workers. Alberta has also relied on the program to fill jobs in the oil patch.
Here's a look at the numbers for the top 6 provinces. Other provinces' request were insignificant: