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After it became public that the Royal Bank of Canada was allegedly hiring foreign workers to replace their current employees, the government of Canada has decided to make some changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to quell some of the backlash. I wrote a blog on my view of the RBC story.
But Human Resources Minister Diane Finley and Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced:
that there will be a series of changes to the program, including:
1. Employers can no longer pay below 15% of the prevailing wage for high-skilled occupations and no longer pay below 5% of the prevailing wage for low-skilled occupations.
2. The Accelerated Labour Market Opinion Process is now suspended.
3. Additional questions will be added to the Labour Market Opinion process.
4. English or French can be the only languages that are a job requirement.
But is this an over-reaction that will hurt Canadian businesses?
“The changes are going in the wrong direction from an economic perspective. If Canada is to compete globally, Canadian employers should be left free to decide who to hire and when. There are already enough restrictions in place through the current labour market opinion process.”
He continued, “Efforts should be made into making Canadian workers more competitive and not putting up artificial barriers for employers. In my view, hiring someone just because they are Canadian is very un-Canadian. This protectionist approach always backfires. It may be politically appealing to some but the economic pain will be felt not only by employers but by the very people the government intends to protect… Temporary Foreign Workers help keep Canada competitive.
My comments in this article have obviously sparked a strong reaction. For the record, my views about temporary foreign workers and their contribution to Canada and its economy applies to all industries. That I represent TFWs and Canadian employers have nothing to do with the fact that open economies like Canada that allow TFWs to thrive, benefit everyone. while closed, protectionist one’s harm not only employers but workers. This is an economic fact. The fear mongering about “taking away Canadian jobs” is very misleading. Jobs are created by successful companies not the government who hands them out. Also TFWs often become immigrants who then become citizens. Most become productive members of society. If companies are left free to decide for themselves who to hire and when, everyone benefits. Living in an open society is what attracts people worldwide to come to Canada and what has made our country as one with the highest standards of living in the world
What do you think? Should changes be made to the temporary foreign worker program?
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