Employers face long delays for temporary foreign workers as demand spikes

Some employers looking to hire temporary foreign workers are experiencing significant delays due to an increase in demand this year for migrant workers in Canada.

The federal government says the volume of applications is up almost 25 per cent over last year, a development it says is due in part to Canada's low unemployment rates.

Some employers are waiting more than 100 days to find out if they can bring in migrant workers after proving no Canadian workers are available for the jobs.

Leah Nord of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce says these extensive delays will have significant financial consequences for some companies.

She said agriculture producers who need temporary foreign workers to help with farm labour during the growing season will be particularly affected.

Employment and Social Development Canada says it is taking steps to address the delays, including a recent investment of $3.4 million to hire more employees dedicated to processing applications.