Time to back off RBC

There has been a lot of press lately about RBC and their interest in hiring Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs). The concern is it seems, that RBC is allegedly using TFWs to supplant Canadian workers in some way.

RBC has come out with a statement that their intention was never to replace their Canadian staff by bringing on TFWs. Regardless, it is time to wake up to the reality that we live in a global market place that is becoming increasingly competitive  And if Canada, as one of the G-8 countries, wishes to compete on a global scale, its financial institutions must effectively resource  human capital from wherever they find it.

And if that means hiring TFWs who may have unique skills that will contribute to the bottom line, then this practice should be encouraged not shunned upon. It is incumbent on our educational institutions and governments to create a competitive domestic work force that will entice our own companies to hire them. Imposing some form of duty or obligation for companies to “hire Canadian” just because workers are Canadian is, in my view, very un-Canadian. But that is how our system generally operates.

Contrary to what is being reported in the media, Canada’s immigration system is very protectionist and pro-labor and makes it difficult for Canadian companies to compete from a human capital perspective. Canadian employers have to go though a tremendous amount of paper work before they have the “right” to hire a TFW. They need the government’s blessing on various levels. Thus the system is stacked in favor of Canadian workers from the start.

The fact that companies like RBC and many others take the trouble to seek out and hire TFWs does not mean they are not being Canadian or do not care about their own Canadian employees; rather it speaks volumes about the diversity of our own labour force, our education system and most significantly our government.

So time to back off RBC and other companies that hire TFWs. The blame should be placed elsewhere.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

2 thoughts on “Time to back off RBC

  1. Lizette

    We as Canadian protect certain Corporation (Banks incl.) against foreign competition and even give them tax breaks. In return they offshore our jobs and we are charged some of the world’s highest fees for products and service. The Royal banks HR idiot said it was restructuring because of globalization. Funny considering the above. Perhaps it time to give them some of the globalization competition to go with that globalization restructuring. Free market. The only free market I see is for cheap Labor. Its lopsided.
    Take your BS some place esle.

    1. Michael Niren Post author


      I am in complete agreement that the Canadian government should not protect any Canadian company against competition. Canadian companies, if they are worthy, should not need protection. Note that government corporations like the CBC survive only because of such protection. They may possibility not last in the market place if they were not funded by taxation dollars. Perhaps successful shows like the Dragon’s Den would get picked up by other networks.

      Secondly, high pricing is really a function of our oppressive tax system. Companies are forced to charge high, non-competitive prices in order to stay profitable where a large part of their costs is taxation. Canadian companies would not need government protection if they were not forced to pay high taxes. And nor would the consumer complain much if their personal tax rates was not so high either as they would have a lot more disposable income.

      So be careful about what you consider as “BS”.

      It’s basic economics really. Try reading Henry Hazlitt’s great book Economics in One Lesson.



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