Food Services Moratorium

On April 25, 2014, Jason Kenny, the Minister of Employment and Social Development, placed a temporary ban on issuing LMOs to businesses in the food service industry for a number of occupations.

Minister Kenny has stated that the ban will only be in place until an investigation is complete, which should be sometime in June according to Economic and Skills Development Canada (ESDC). Until then, no new LMOs will be issued for specified jobs in the food service industry, and any unused positive LMOs that have already been issued will be suspended until the completion of the investigation. The investigation is a result of several complaints and tips that have been reported regarding the temporary foreign worker program.


The most notable company under investigation is McDonalds, who has been accused of using cheaper foreign labour to replace Canadian workers, but there are fears that these kinds of abuses are taking place around the country.

One story that made national news earlier this year involved a restaurant in Saskatchewan where long-employed Canadian workers were let go so that foreign workers could take their places. ESDC and Minister Kenny hope to remind Canadian businesses that hiring temporary foreign workers is only to be used as a last resort only when Canadians are unable to meet the needs of the employment marketplace and fill those jobs.

Even though many LMOs are not being issued to the food service industry, it is important to remember that the moratorium has specific limits. The only banned occupations are for companies that prepare and serve snacks, meals, or beverages for immediate consumption by customers on the premises or shortly after leaving. This includes restaurants such as those found in airports, hotels, or shopping malls, but it does not include food preparation in amusement parks, theatres, and hotelkitchens. Also, not all positions are under the moratorium. It only applies to those positions found on the list below.

NOC Code Job Title
6641 Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Occupations
0631 Restaurant and Food Service Managers
6212 Food Service Supervisors
6453 Food and Beverage Servers
6611 Cashiers
6241 Chefs
6242 Cooks
6252 Bakers
0611 Sales, Marketing and Advertising Managers
0621 Retail Trade Manager
0632 Accommodation Service Managers
0651 Other Services Managers
6211 Retail Trade Supervisors
6213 Executive Housekeepers
6214 Dry Cleaning and Laundry Supervisors
6215 Cleaning Supervisors
6216 Other Service Supervisors
6221 Technical Sales Specialists – Wholesale Trade
6251 Butchers, Meat Cutters and Fishmongers – Retail and Wholesale
6411 Sales Representatives – Wholesale Trade (Non-Technical)
6421 Retail Salespersons and Sales Clerks
6451 Maîtres d’hôtel and Hosts/Hostesses
6452 Bartenders
6484 Other Personal Service Occupations
6622 Grocery Clerks and Store Shelf Stockers
6623 Other Elemental Sales Occupations
6651 Security Guards and Related Occupations
6661 Light Duty Cleaners
6662 Specialized Cleaners
6663 Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents
6681 Dry Cleaning and Laundry Occupations
6682 Ironing, Pressing and Finishing Occupations
6683 Other Elemental Service Occupations