Dear Mr. Kenney,
Please end the TFW (temporary foreign worker) program in fast food, retail, factories, and all industries that do not require extensive training and expertise. There is no worker shortage in Canada. Thousands of Canadians are unemployed; large numbers receive social assistance, students are unable to secure part-time jobs and seniors are standing in line at food banks.
As a Canadian willing to accept any job, anywhere in Canada, I have applied for hundreds of entry-level positions to no avail. Thus, I am convinced, given the recent reports on the CBC, that I have not landed a job due to industry preference of TFWs. There is an obvious reluctance on the part of large corporations such as McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s, Canadian Tire, Wal-Mart and Subway, to name a few, to hire and pay Canadians decent wages and benefits.
Mr. Kenney, under your watch the TFW program has spiraled out of control to the detriment of both TFWs and the working poor in Canada. Foreigners are being exploited and Canadians are struggling to find and keep a job. Guest workers are living in deplorable conditions, threatened with deportation, and forced to work overtime without compensation. Companies are charging foreigners money so they can become TFWs in Canada, only to end up on welfare. Reliable and dedicated Canadian workers are being replaced by TFWs. Job applications from Canadians are being tossed in the trash bin and Canadian high school students no longer have an opportunity to gain valuable work experience. How can you possibly support this unjust program?
Please remember the Liberal government started this program to support the agricultural industry and to help companies that required skilled labor, not to put Canadians out of work. However, your Conservative government has expanded the program by catering to businesses and ignoring the working poor in Canada. Your government lengthened TFW permits from 1 to 2 years in 2007, extended them from 2 to 4 years in 2011, reduced the pay rate by 15% of the prevailing wage for TFWs, slashed the time for LMO (Labor Market Opinion) approval from 5 months to 5 days, and lowered the percentage of TFWs requiring a LMO to less than 40%. Mr. Kenney, why did you and your government make it easier for TFWs to be hired and more difficult for Canadians to find work?
It is clear the TFW program is being used as a tool to import cheap labor and put downward pressure on wages and benefits in Canada. If companies cannot afford to train and hire Canadians then please allow market forces to take care of these companies. In other words, if a company is only profitable, thanks to government incentives or cheap labor from abroad, then this company should fail.
As a result of your continued support, large corporations, small and medium business owners insist that Canadian youth and students are lazy, the unemployed have poor work ethics, and that Canadians won’t move to where the jobs are, and so on. Do you really believe this? Could it be possible that these companies want to take the easy route and employ foreigners? How is it possible that TFWs have access to full-time jobs while Canadians are given part-time ones? Why are companies paying airfare, settling in allowances, helping with accommodation for TFWs but not providing similar services to Canadians willing to relocate for a job?
As long as there is massive unemployment in Canada this program serves business, drives down wages and discriminates against hard-working Canadians. Mr. Kenney, you and your government were unable to fix or reform the TFW program during eight years in office. Please stand up and accept responsibility for the TFW program fiasco instead of blaming previous governments. Then, do the right thing by phasing out the program, and forcing the companies which brought the TFWs here to compensate them and send these workers home.
Mr. Kenney, if you would like to be re-elected end the TFW program and replace it with a new program for Canadians.