Yukon Economic Development Minister Ranj Pillai announces a new nominee program which will allow Yukon businesses to bring in staff from outside Canada if local employees can’t be found during a press conference in Whitehorse on Sept. 26, 2019. The Yukon government is setting the record straight about one of its employment programs after officials became aware of incorrect and misleading information being conveyed in a number of YouTube videos. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Immigration inquiries rise due to YouTube videos, YG says

Officials outline details of Yukon Community Program

The Yukon government is setting the record straight about one of its employment programs after officials became aware of incorrect and misleading information being conveyed in a number of YouTube videos.

In an Aug. 14 statement, Yukon government officials said they are aware of the videos “containing incorrect or misleading program information” about the Yukon Community Program and are working directly with YouTube to address it.

It was not noted exactly how it will be addressed.

As of Aug. 18, a YouTube search of ‘Yukon Community Program’ turned up more than 100 videos, none of which were from the Government of Yukon’s channel.

The videos have led to a rise in immigration inquiries, territorial officials said.

The pilot program for businesses in the communities of Carcross, Carmacks, Dawson City, Haines Junction, Watson Lake and Whitehorse began in January as a stream under the Yukon Nominee Program to help Yukon businesses meet labour needs when they cannot attract Canadian staff.

As it was noted when the Yukon Community Program was announced in September 2019, there are challenges for employers under the Yukon Nominee Program with rules that prevent employees from working more than one job and restricting what they can do on the job. A staffer hired under the nominee program to serve food cannot be called on for janitorial duties, for example.

Under the Yukon Community Program up to 50 workers will have their work permits connected to a specific community rather than employer, thus allowing them to work for up to three employers in that community.

“This new approach will allow more immigrants to come work in Yukon, opening up new job opportunities and benefiting local businesses at a critical time when our economy is growing,” Economic Development Minister Ranj Pillai said when the program was announced.

He indicated if the three-year pilot program proves successful it may be expanded to other communities throughout the territory.

Applications for the program are limited to employers from the six communities only, meaning prospective workers must be nominated by their employer, who applies for the program.

Individual employers can offer a single position with up to three job descriptions that together equal one full-time position or up to three employers in the same community can create a full-time position for one person between the three businesses.

Those nominated under the program must have a guaranteed job lined up that meets the program criteria, have a valid work permit, provide proof of qualifying work experience, meet language requirements for the skill level of the position, and intend to live in the territory and apply to the federal government for permanent residence three to six months after starting work.

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