End the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Two or three decades ago many young Canadians gained valuable work experience thanks to part-time jobs that allowed them enough flexibility to study, work and pay college fees. I worked 12 – 15 hours a week at Burger King in order to help finance my education. The manager worked hard to accommodate students with different schedules and give all of us a chance to study and work. Students who wanted to earn  extra money worked late shifts, holidays, or weekends. There was no labor shortage then and there is none today.

END TFWPThe difference today is that teenagers, college and university students are no longer hired by fast food establishments because of corporate greed and easy access to modern slavery from third world countries. Canadian youth cannot be abused like TFWs (Temporary Foreign Workers); they stand up for their rights and demand respect and fairness from their employers. Consequently, restaurant owners prefer to hire TFWs who can easily be forced to work any shift, work long hours at minimum wage, live in substandard housing, and in some cases pay rent to the employer who provides accommodation in some crappy apartment building.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is not a labor shortage program. It is a wage, benefits, and human rights suppression program that serves the interests of business owners. In Canada, the unchecked expansion of this program has made it increasingly difficult for students, older workers, unemployed and seniors to find work. This slave labor program has severely flooded the labor market and is contributing to high unemployment rates amongst Canadians. It puts downward pressure on wages, erodes workplace benefits and contributes to resentment towards foreigners. Canadians are not lazy, but they are slowly being replaced by indentured slaves.

The TFWP is a form of corporate welfare that needs to be abolished; it undermines the Canadian economy and puts our futures at risk. In the end, taxpayers supporting the unemployed, marginal workers and youth pay for this business subsidy. It is time for the government to end the TFWP, so that Canadian workers can earn a decent and livable wage.

I urge everyone who cares about the future of Canadian workers to sign the petition to “End the Temporary Foreign Worker Program”.

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5 thoughts on “End the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

  1. Wao! I do understand your views. They are valid but I feel for the young people who have an opening to the world through this program. True that they may work a lot for meager pay but if you know what it means to those young people, you will want them to have the chance the program provides. What I may propose is to strike BALANCE – see how this program can be improved upon so that it does not deprive young Canadians of the opportunities they need and also give a chance to the poor young people of the poor countries to improve their lot and that of their families. Surely there will be lots of frustrations if it is completely scraped. Mind you that the advanced countries have a moral responsibility to help the poor countries.This is just my opinion. I hope you take it in good faith.I strongly advocate for decent treatment for the foreigners who are employed under this program.

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    • I appreciate and respect your opinion. However, this program is being abused by many employers and Canadian youth are being denied opportunities while workers from other countries come to Canada and are given more hours, and in many cases they are treated better than Canadians. Canada and Canadians are generous when it comes to helping countries less fortunate than ours, but I believe that as long as there are Canadians without jobs we do not need this program.

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  2. There are problems with a related issue here in Australia, some employers are bring in people on similar visas to fill supposed vacancies for skilled workers. Not only is it a cover for employing cheaper overseas labour but it also means locals are not being given the opportunities to develop their skills. If it was illegal to pay the lower wages it would be fairer for everyone.

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      • You should look at the EDSC website outlining the rules for the foreign worker program and look at the section “Agricultural workers”. There are two programs just for agriculture, SAWP and the Agricultural Stream, neither of which require paying prevailing wages. There is actually a wage table the government issues that you can see on that site, that shows the wages you have to pay. In Alberta for instance you can bring in someone to work on a vegetable, tree or sod farm for only minimum wage, or $10.20/hour. If you want a TFW to clean hog barns you only have to pay them 10.88/hour. In BC, just 10.49/hour. The government actually makes it clear with a “Comparison of Options and Criteria” table that you don’t have to pay prevailing wages under these two programs, in other words you can use them just for cheap labour. I used to work on a farm and this is what my employer would do every year: advertise the job for this “commodity table” wage, even less than what most fast food places here pay, find a reason to reject any local applicants, and then hire TFW. Sorry to be so verbose but I just want to get the word out that this industry has explicit permission from the government to hire TFW for far less than what Canadians would normally be paid for these jobs. And yes this meant that the whole time I was there, not one student was hired for a summer job.

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