Migration Mapping From the Americas
Labour flows from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to Canada are rising for several reasons, including labour shortages, an aging population and heightened growth in numerous occupational sectors in Canada. In 2008, Canada attracted 193,000 temporary migrant workers—representing a significant increase over the past ten years—in both skilled and lesser skilled occupations. While many of these workers come from traditionally important migrant-sending countries such as Mexico and Jamaica, an increased number of workers are coming from Central America (i.e. El Salvador and Guatemala) and South America (i.e. Colombia). For example, the Embassy of El Salvador in Canada is actively working with Canadian employers to recruit Salvadorians to work in provinces and sectors facing labour shortages. In 2007, Mexico and Canada demonstrated political interest in expanding circular labour flows between the two countries by creating a Labour Mobility Working Group within the Canada-Mexico Partnership (CMP). This group aims to promote labour mobility between both countries in three sectors: hospitality, construction and financial services.
In this context, there is an urgent need to generate informed research and analysis to better understand the nature and changing patterns of temporary foreign worker migration flows to Canada from the LAC region. Furthermore, there is a lack of sufficient and/or readily available information in Canada about the development impacts of labour migration in sending regions.
To address this, The Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL) and the International Migration Research Centre are building an interactive, web-based analytical mapping tool with data and information about temporary migration and development in order to provide critical information and fresh perspectives to inform and provide options for new policy agendas.