The government often likes to justify Canada’s temporary foreign worker program by saying the jobs being done are jobs Canadians wouldn’t ever fill.
Now, Canada’s Auditor General Michael Ferguson has blown a hole in that argument.
According to Ferguson, weak oversight of the program has led Canada to the point where companies can hire low-paid foreign workers for jobs that unemployed Canadians should be, and could be filling.
In an audit released on Tuesday, Ferguson pointed out a ton of problems with the temporary foreign worker program.
In one example, employers were allowed to hire temporary foreign workers without proving they even tried to hire Canadians.
In other cases, government officials didn’t even look at government data to see whether or not employers were lying about the job situation in their field.
Furthermore, when companies were caught breaking the rules, there was no real punishment for them – creating a culture of impunity.
At one point, someone was able to hire a caregiver through the foreign worker program – even though they admitted they didn’t interview any Canadians for the job.
Here’s what Ferguson said in a news conference about government “oversight” of the program:
“They were taking employers at their word. They weren’t questioning the employers, the application that employers put forward to get approval to hire a temporary foreign worker.”
Ferguson also pointed out that more than 80% of Canadian workers in our fish processing industry who were laid off were claiming unemployment insurance. At the exact same time, those companies were hiring temporary foreign workers – for the same jobs as the laid off employees.
Trudeau government promised changes, yet serious problems remain
Under the previous government, serious problems with the temporary foreign worker program first came to widespread public attention in 2014. The Harper government made some changes, and the number of temporary foreign workers in the country dropped by over 70,000.
The Trudeau government promised further changes, and (of course) way more spending, to fix the remaining issues.
However, they also eliminated fees for families that want to hire a foreign caregiver, a policy that effectively subsidizes the denial of jobs to Canadians.
The government has also been virtue-signalling around the globe to look like the “nicest” government possible, so any crackdown on the abuse of the temporary foreign worker program – which would entail actually benefiting Canadian citizens – appears to be on the back burner.
Ferguson even pointed out that the caregiver program could easily be used for families to circumvent the normal immigration system and bring relatives to the country, but the Trudeau government has refused to close that loophole, which makes you question where the $304 million they’re spending on “program fixes” is actually going.
A betrayal of Canadian workers
At a time when so many Canadian workers are struggling to hold onto jobs, get ahead, or even find work, it’s a real punch to the gut to find out that the government is turning a blind eye to abuses of the temporary foreign worker program. Our government should not be doing the bidding of massive corporations, and we should not be letting companies abuse government programs to take jobs away from Canadians.
Our government must put our country first above all else, and that means putting the interests of Canadian workers before the desire of big companies to hire cheap foreign labour. The temporary foreign worker program needs massive and immediate reform, otherwise Canadian workers will keep being treated like second class citizens in their own country.
The elites want to hide their many failures behind political correctness, deception, and manipulation. We need to push back and spread the truth. That’s why I write.
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