Newsletter - August 16, 2016

16 August 2016

Welcome to the August 2016 edition of the Ackah Law Newsletter! We hope you’re having a wonderful summer season and getting some rest and time with loved ones.

 If you have not yet signed up directly to receive our newsletter, please email Kim Pryhitko – or sign up through the newsletter. We encourage you to like our Facebook page and join our LinkedIn and Twitter groups; you can find us under Ackah Business Immigration Law. For more information on immigration matters and on the exciting work we do, please see the link below for our blog  and follow us on twitter @ackahlaw. 


On September 14, 2016, Natasha Lakhani will be presenting at the Human Resource Institute of Alberta Breakfast Seminar in Red Deer, Alberta. She will be presenting on Labour Market Impact Assessments and Offer of Employment Compliance – Fulfilling Obligations. This presentation will focus on the new compliance regime under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the International Mobility Program and how employers can be prepared for the compliance review and what to expect. Presentation

On September 27, 2016, Evelyn Ackah will be presenting to the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta on the NAFTA Requirements for Working in the United States. This presentation will provide detailed information for Engineers, Technologists and Geoscientists who are interested in moving to the United States to pursue employment opportunities. Presentation


Canada to Lift Mexican Visa Requirements

Prime Minister Trudeau announced that as of December 1, 2016 the Temporary Resident Visa requirement for Mexican citizens entering Canada will be lifted. Mexican citizens will need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (“ETA”). However, until the visa requirement is lifted, Mexicans who wish to travel, work or study in the Canada, will still need to apply for a visa until December 1, 2016. The government hopes that by removing the visa requirement for Mexicans, it will encourage tourism in both countries and may help businesses develop and/or grow. Update

Compliance Reviews based on Offer of Employments have started

As of February 21, 2015, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) implemented a required fee of $230 and submission of an “Offer of Employment” by a Canadian company who wishes to hire a temporary foreign worker who is exempt from the requirement to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment. The IRCC has now delegated its power for conducting compliance reviews to Service Canada. The compliance reviews have started! IRCC wants to ensure that employers are abiding by the online offers of employment they have submitted and that there are policies in place to ensure workers have a safe working environment. Update

Update on Express Entry and Invitations to Apply – Permanent Residence

July 27, 2016 – FN who were assigned a total of 488 points or more under the Comprehensive Ranking System (“CRS”) were provided an invitation to apply (“ITA”). The number of ITAs released was 755. Latest Draw

Since May 6, 2016, the CRS points have decreased for express entry. On July 13, 2016 – CRS points – 482 number of ITAs released were 747.

 Guest Contributor: Janet Nystedt, Employment & Labour Lawyer, Nystedt Law

 Terminations 101

 Times are not a changin’ fast enough! 

The price of oil dipped below $40 again in early August. Not a good sign for our already beleaguered Calgary market. In the wake of yet another slide in oil prices and gloomy predictions for the fall and winter months to come, employers may again look to their workforce for cost savings – which means that more terminations may be on the horizon. We have already heard from two major oil companies who plan to cut deep in September. 

If you are looking to make employee cuts, be sure to consider the full range of termination obligations, and ask yourself:

  1. Is there an employment contract in place with the employee that has a termination provision?
  2. What does the provincial employment legislation require you to pay to the employee?
  3. What have judges awarded employees in the past in similar circumstances?   What does the “common law” require for a severance?
  4. Is there anything notable about the individual that would hamper new employment?
  5. What does the market really look like out there?  Will the individual find a new job relatively quickly?
  6. What elements of compensation need to be included in a severance – base salary, bonus, benefits, RRSP contributions, etc?
  7. Should the employer ask for a release in exchange for the severance?  Hint… YES!
  8. Is there a benefit to providing working notice to the employee instead of a severance payment?

In short, there are numerous legal questions to ask and it might help to have an HR lawyer assist you with the process of downsizing.

For Ackah Law clients it might also be top of mind that the departing employee is a temporary foreign worker (TFW) in Canada.  Such employees have the same rights as other employees, including a full suite of termination rights.  TFW are allowed to change employers and will not be penalized or deported for losing a job. More challenging is finding a new job - as the new employer must have permission to hire the employee as a TFW (i.e., have a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment issued from the government). This might limit the potential employer pool and increase your severance obligation.

Finally, for our federally regulated employers, you have recently been dealt a hard blow by the court.  The Federal Court recently confirmed that employers in industries such as banking, interprovincial transportation, telephone and television media, marine shipping, air transportation, etc. the Canada Labour Code does not allow termination absent just cause.  As a result, it may be challenging for a federally regulated employer to make cuts to its workforce – attrition may be the only safe way to reduce head count.

Termination can be tricky.  We can help.

Written by: Janet Nystedt, Nystedt Law   T.   403.604.0547E.

Ackah Law Now has two new offices!

 In addition to our Calgary office, Ackah Law has now opened two new offices in Vancouver and in Toronto, in order to further assist clients. Our two new addresses are:

 Vancouver: 800 – 1199 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 3T5 (604) 985-9512

 Calgary: 20 Bay Street, 11th Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5J 2N8 (416) 643-7177

Ackah Law Now Offers Employment Law Advisory Services!

To further assist our clients, we are now offering employment law advisory services to assist clients with workforce planning.  Ackah Law can now assist our clients with full service employment law advice, including drafting employment and consulting agreements, implementing workplace policies and procedures and preparing for reorganization and terminations - we can help ensure you are compliant with workplace regulations and well protected in the event of workplace unrest.  We are pleased to have on our team an experienced employment and labour lawyer that will be contracted with us to assist our clients with employment law matters. Contact us directly for more information at (403) 452-9515 ext. 100 or

Please don’t keep our boutique immigration law firm a secret!  We are very appreciative of any referrals and recommendations you send our way. Thank you very much!


We hope that you have found this newsletter both helpful and informative. We look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions about the content. Please let us know how we may be of assistance and how you can leverage our expertise in helping to meet your business needs. Should you wish to discuss further the impact of any of the above-referenced policy changes, we encourage you to contact our office.

*Please note that this immigration newsletter has been created for informational purposes only and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.

Contact us:


   Calgary: (403) 452‑9515
   Vancouver: (604) 985‑9512
   Toronto: (416) 643‑7177

   North America: 1 (800) 932‑1190

Subscribe to our mailing list:

* indicates required