GP workers in Canada get 2 years’ extension

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Member of Parliament for West Guadalcanal Constituency and Minister of Police Anthony Veke has praised the Canadian government for its recent decision which allows many Guadalcanal workers under the seasonal worker program to have their work permits extended by an additional 24-months.

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Previously the seasonal workers had been granted a permit for 24 months when they initially arrived in Canada to undertake the employment.

However the recent extension would mean that workers get an additional 24 months to work and temporarily call Canada their home.

In the past month alone Canada has granted 7 extensions to 24 – month work permits to Solomon Islands nationals in Canada.

M.P Hon. Veke under whose leadership as the former Premier of Guadalcanal, Guadalcanal workers began participating in a labour mobility partnership with Canada says the extension of work permits would mean longer term employment for Guadalcanal workers and more money flowing back into the economy from Canada.

“I extend to the people and government of Canada and in particular Canada’s Immigration division my heartfelt appreciation for positively considering work permit applications for our Guadalcanal nationals in Canada,” Hon. Veke said.

“I must also recognise and thank the employers who have decided to extend the work permits for our Guadalcanal nationals. During this difficult time of COVID when the country is facing many challenges seasonal employment is helping support many families in Guadalcanal through remittances. The employer’s decision to keep employing our people is helpful at this difficult and challenging time,” Mr. Veke said.

“Canada’s labour mobility program is seeing a significant positive impact on Guadalcanal families who are the direct beneficiaries of the remittances the workers from Canada are sending directly to their families to help support them. I thank Canada and the employers for this opportunity,” Hon. Veke said.

Hon Veke further stated that Canada’s 2-year work permit policy brings long term employment opportunities for the citizens of Solomon Islands and that a further extension of a 2-year term would mean great support to both Canadian employers and Solomon Islands workers.

” It’s a win-win situation for both parties,” Hon. Veke said.

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This policy move by Canada’s immigration department for renewal of work permits is also being welcomed by Solomon Islands representative to Canada Hon. Consul General Ashwant Dwivedi.

Mr. Dwivedi said that the extension of work permit means employment for an extended period that will bring direct benefit to the families of those employed here in Canada as they remit money directly to support their families in this difficult time.

“This decision by the Canadian government means that our nationals in Canada will be employed for a total of 4 years with their present employer. As a result, there will be more Canadian remittances flowing back to the economy of the Solomon Islands.

“Canada’s continued labour mobility program with Solomon Islands and its irrefutable positive economic effect on not only families of Solomon Islands nationals employed in Canada, but their villages and communities back home in Solomon Islands as well, is being widely felt by many” Mr. Dwivedi said.

“For the past few months, the Solomon Islands Consulate General office that I represent has been working closely with the different divisions of the Government of Canada aimed at supporting those seeking renewals by verification of documents and other processes as required. This is very encouraging news that our nationals have started to receive the extensions for the next 24 months,” Mr. Dwivedi said.

Mr. Dwivedi said that the employer specific work permits allow workers to continue to work with the same employers as there are provisions in place which allows employers to retain their foreign workers without returning them to their country of origin.

“I cannot be in denial that the economy of Solomon Islands is significantly impacted because of the COVID-19. There is a rise in unemployment and one of the contributing factors is the large impact COVID has and continues to have on the tourism sector which flows down to many other business sectors in the Solomon Islands, Mr. Dwivedi said.

Canada also becomes one of the first countries in the world that has started vaccinating Solomon Islands seasonal workers in Canada with a COVID-vaccine who are considered front line priority workers.

Photo: Hon. Veke [L] with Labour Minister during his visit to Canada in 2019 . Hon. Veke has praised Canada’s continued labour mobility with his people of Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.

  • SI Honrary Consul in Canada

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