Canada's labour crunch has it facing one of the most serious shortages of skilled workers in the industrial world. A recent Manpower inc. poll of Canadian small and enterprise-level business highlights the growing trend.

Second only to Mexico, sixty-six per cent of Canadian employers cannot find qualified staff. Well below the global average, Canada has its aging population and declining birth rate to blame.

"We don't have a lot of people who live in Canada, and for the first time in a long time, we have more people leaving the work force than entering it," says Michael Doyle, regional director of Manpower.

One of the ways in which the Canadian government is addressing this burgeoning problem is by increasing federal immigration levels in both the Skilled-worker, and Temporary worker categories, respectively.

Although the previous Liberal government has increased the flow of immigration to Canada, it has yet to reach their stated target of 320, 000 Newcomers, annually. The Liberal plan called for immigration to account for 1 per cent of Canada's total population by 2010. Prime Minister Harper's newly- elected Conservative government has yet to make public their agenda on immigration, more specifically, their position on the numbers.

The vice-president for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), Dan Kelly cites labour shortage as the biggest issue facing Canada’s small businesses today. Kelly states that about 48 per cent of small businesses in Ontario, and 52 per cent in Quebec, cannot plug workforce vacancy.