Business leaders in BC are calling for the federal government to review changes made to the temporary foreign worker program.

BC Chamber of Commerce President John Winter says resort communities such as ski mountains are struggling to fill jobs that Canadians simply are not interested in;

“I don’t think the jobs are unattractive, these are regular jobs in the workplace that people are not lining up for, applying for or making themselves available for… Mr Kenny (Canada’s Minister of Employment) seems to think that the wages are too low, but at the same time wages will have an impact on consumer prices. So if we raise wages to suit his requirements we will be looking at a 4 dollar cup of coffee”

Olympic gold medalist and Canadian senator Nancy Greene is the Director of Skiing at Sun Peaks in Kamloops. She says that BC resorts run the risk of losing lucrative international tourists if they can’t provide a high level of service due to empty positions;

“The destination ski industry has worked very hard for over 40 years to build up a quality product and reputation that attracts guests from overseas. These guests could go anywhere. We need them to keep coming to Canada, the impact on our economy is huge”

She went on to cite big demographic shifts in the province;

“Look at the demographic changes that are coming in the labour force. Looking forward, we could be in serious trouble. Right now for example, in grade 12 in BC there are just over 63k students, yet there are only 44k students in grade 7.

She also said ski instructors and chefs are two of the most difficult positions for resorts to fill and she hopes the program is tweaked to allow them into the country.

At the same time, Whistler Blackcomb is lobbying for an exemption from the program.