Well, this is embarrassing for Employment Minister Jason Kenney: actual McJobs at McDonald's are being filled by temporary foreign workers under a federal program that he pitches as necessary to address a skills shortage in Canada.
The latest news, courtesy of CBC, show a McDonald's franchisee successfully applied for temporary foreign worker permits at a location in British Columbia -- and Kenney's department suspended all pending permits for three outlets owned by the same franchisee after the news outlet pressed the government about why migrant workers were displacing Canadians eager to work at the fast-food chain.
As a result of CBC's inquiries, Kenney's department has also blacklisted his franchise from using the TFW program, "pending the outcome of the probe," CBC reported.
Kenney's office is trying to look tough on this file. Too bad the Harper government has facilitated the growth -- and abuse -- of the program since coming to power in 2006, and allowed sales and service McJobs, at McDonald's and elsewhere, to drive the growth.
Check how many tens of thousands of temporary foreign workers have flooded Canada to fill McJobs:
Source: Canadian Labour Congress. How the Conservatives Expanded the Temporary Worker Pipeline by Tony Biddle, www.perfectworlddesign.ca, 2013.
The CLC has also crunched the numbers for the first half of 2013, and has 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.
So much for the tough talk. How about explaining why McJobs are being outsourced to temporary foreign workers in the first place?