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.
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
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