Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently delivered a scathing critique of the controversial Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program during a roundtable with members of the ethnic media in Vancouver, saying companies have been "abusing" the program and harming Canadian workers "only for the sake of the bottom line profit."
Too bad his government has been facilitating the growth -- and abuse -- of the program since coming to power in 2006 by:
- Rewriting favourable rules to invite employers to recruit temporary foreign workers "for any legally recognized occupation from any country."
- Changing advertising rules so employers could post jobs in Canada for as little as six days before looking for TFWs, down from six weeks. The rule is now 14 days.
Creating "fast lanes" for all employers to deal with self-identified shortages.
Allowing employers to pay 15% less to all workers doing the "'high-skilled' job for which temporary work permits were sought, and 5% less for 'low-skill' jobs."
No wonder tens of thousands of temporary foreign workers have been flooding Canada to fill "McJobs" and others under the Harper government:
(The federal government has yet to release full statistics for 2013, but the CLC has crunched the numbers for the first half of 2013, and found that jobs in accommodation/food services account for about 20% of temporary foreign worker positions. If retail and other service jobs are included, low-wage service jobs made up about a third of all positions. The CLC has also found that with numbers for the first half of 2013, total TFW positions were 51.5% of the 2012 yearly total.)