Ottawa Seeks To Attract Chinese Workers

The federal government is petitioning Beijing to triple the number of cities where Chinese can apply for Canadian visas, as Ottawa tries to woo not only more students and travellers but also additional temporary foreign workers.

Foreign workers became a flashpoint in Canada several years ago, when a public backlash was directed at companies bringing in non-Canadian employees to take jobs in this country. At one point, there was a plan to bring in as many as 200 Chinese miners to work on a proposed project in northeastern British Columbia. The former Conservative government ended up tightening rules for importing foreign workers.

Minister of Immigration John McCallum landed in Beijing on Sunday for meetings with senior Chinese officials at the country’s Foreign Affairs and Public Security ministries. He has asked for approval to quickly open new visa application centres in five secondary Chinese cities: Chengdu, Nanjing, Wuhan, Jinan and Shenyang. They could open as soon as next year. Chinese can currently apply for Canadian visas in five locations, including Hong Kong.

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