By Diana Mehta, The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Canada’s temporary foreign worker program was under renewed scrutiny Tuesday as a…
TORONTO – Canada’s temporary foreign worker program was under renewed scrutiny Tuesday as a new report suggested the increasingly controversial system “could be distorting” the natural supply and demand of the country’s labour market.
The University of Calgary study suggests Canada isn’t facing a wide-scale labour shortage but rather is experiencing a “serious mismatch” between the skills of its labour force and the demands of the labour market.
Kevin McQuillan — lead author of the study titled “All the workers we need: debunking Canada’s labour shortage fallacy” — said improving the balance in the labour marketplace does not require an increase in the labour supply.
“Indeed, the TFWP (temporary foreign worker program) is sometimes being used to fill jobs with foreign workers in regions that already suffer from relatively high unemployment rates,” wrote McQuillan.
“Temporary foreign workers could be distorting the labour market forces that would bring together more Canadian workers and jobs.”
By Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press - Monday, April 29, 2013 at 6:27 PM - 0 Comments
OTTAWA – After weeks of public outcry over the scarcity of Canadian jobs, the…
OTTAWA – After weeks of public outcry over the scarcity of Canadian jobs, the Conservative government delivered a pink slip Monday to a series of controversial changes it made last year to the temporary foreign workers program.
Employers will no longer have flexibility to set the wages for foreign labour, calling a halt to what was known as the 15 per cent rule, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told a news conference.
That rule allowed businesses to pay foreign workers up to 15 per cent below median wages, if that’s what they were paying Canadians.
The Conservatives are also calling a temporary halt to a program that fast-tracked the ability of some companies to bring in workers from outside Canada through what’s known as an accelerated labour market opinion.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, April 29, 2013 at 5:39 PM - 0 Comments
Thomas Mulcair offered a simple premise.
“Mr. Speaker, a year ago the Conservatives created a new accelerated approval process for hiring temporary foreign workers,” the NDP leader offered. “They allowed them to be paid 15% less than Canadian workers doing the same job. That is an incentive to hire temporary foreign workers instead of Canadians. Today, Conservatives are begging Canadians to believe that this time they are really going to crack down, but Conservatives have not removed the incentive to hire temporary foreign workers. Why have they not changed the 15% rule? Their message is still, ‘Work for less or you’ll be replaced.’ ”
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney rejected this premise entirely.
“As always on this matter, Mr. Speaker, the NDP is wrong,” Mr. Kenney declared. “I do not know whether the Leader of the Opposition has been improperly briefed or whether he knows he is wrong when he says that the rules allow for foreign workers to be underpaid. That is not true. People cannot come into this country to work on work permits unless they are paid at the prevailing regional wage rate. However, of course, in every occupation there is a range and this allows for some people to be paid as long as Canadians are paid within that range, at the same wage level.”
That said, the answer to Mr. Mulcair’s actual question was apparently yes. Indeed, an hour and 45 minutes later, Mr. Kenney convened a news conference to declare that, a year after it was the introduced, the 15% rule was no more. Only, as Mr. Kenney explained, for entirely different reasons. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 6:20 PM - 0 Comments
To Joe Momma then, where Murray Rankin, the bespectacled and button-downed national revenue critic for the official opposition, stepped before the cameras this morning to pose beside the proprietor of this bike shop, a tattooed young man in a white t-shirt and newsboy cap.
“We would like the hypocrisy to be exposed,” Mr. Rankin explained. “They said they wouldn’t raise taxes and here we are, a little bit later, in this very same store, pointing out that they are.”
This is most certainly fair play. It was Jim Flaherty who used this establishment for a photo op last fall. And it was Jim Flaherty who stood in the House less than a month ago and said he would not raise taxes. And it is the budget Mr. Flaherty tabled that day that raises taxes on the importation of hundreds of products from dozens of countries. And it was this government that championed the few tariffs it decreased as “supporting Canadian families and communities.” And it was this government that once screamed and cried about the very idea of a tax on iPods. And it was this Prime Minister who gave his word that, so long as he was prime minister, there would be “no new taxes.” And it was this Prime Minister who once mused that “I don’t believe any taxes are good taxes.”
“I feel misled more than anything,” offered the bike shop owner.
Fair enough. Continue…
By Diana Mehta - Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 7:25 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – The increasingly widespread use of outsourcing and the way in which Canada’s…
TORONTO – The increasingly widespread use of outsourcing and the way in which Canada’s temporary foreign worker program could be used to facilitate the practice emerged as a key issue Tuesday in the controversy over the Royal Bank of Canada’s decision to outsource dozens of Toronto jobs.
Many Canucks have lambasted RBC after it came to light that Canada’s largest bank contracted an external supplier called iGate to provide certain technology services, a decision which ousts 45 employees from their current roles.
Questions have been raised about how iGate brought its own employees into Canada under the temporary foreign worker program so they could be trained at RBC branches for the services they’ll be providing to the bank. The program itself has been criticized as a tool that allows companies to opt for temporary workers who can be paid up to 15 per cent less than Canadians.
iGate told The Canadian Press on Tuesday that it operates with a “high level of integrity” and will “fully co-operate” with a government investigation into the situation.
By Tamsyn Burgmann - Monday, February 4, 2013 at 10:33 AM - 0 Comments
VANCOUVER – A mining company that was granted permits to bring 201 temporary foreign…
VANCOUVER – A mining company that was granted permits to bring 201 temporary foreign workers from China rejected multiple Canadian applicants who had exemplary qualifications, including one person with 30 years experience, say two trades unions after reviewing hundreds of refused resumes.
The unions have been fighting HD Mining in court over the firm’s insistence there was never a supply of qualified or interested Canadians in doing the work at the Murray River coal project near Tumbler Ridge, in northern British Columbia.
The labour groups say Canadians should have had the first rights to such jobs, disputing the firm’s claims it was forced to get permission to bring in temporary workers.
Now the unions contend they have documents that validate their assertions.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 12:53 PM - 0 Comments
But Rob Katzman — owner of Cheetah’s and Leopard’s adult entertainment clubs in Windsor — said the government is targeting the sector as a political ploy intended to “legislate morality” without any evidence supporting the new policy. “Exploitation never happens,” he said. “We’ve been in business since 1985 and not one girl has ever complained about how she was treated. There is no empirical data that shows trafficking or exploitation — sexual or otherwise — is sourced in our adult (entertainment) business.”
Katzman noted massage parlours might be an area to target because in many cities they remain largely unregulated or difficult for municipalities to control, but strip clubs should not be included under the same umbrella. “We train our (managers) to look for problem situations where a woman gets dropped off by a man who appears in control over them or someone who confronts management and doesn’t let the girl speak. There is no evidence that is happening.”
Here are the official news release and backgrounder.