Temporary Foreign Workers or TFW
The government plans to do cross-country consultations on the program, and it says it will closely monitor the effects of the measures announced in April.
Some labour economists have been calling for a review of the program to determine if it is adequately addressing labour shortages or whether it is undermining wages and job opportunities in Canada.
Erin Weir, a labour economist with the United Steel Workers Union, said in an interview earlier that some companies go through the motions of pretending to hire Canadians in order to get a positive labour market opinion.
The Alberta Federation of Labour said Monday that the program is being abused, and employers are using it as a first choice instead of a last resort.
“Nowhere in the country is the situation more serious than in Alberta where clearly the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is being used to displace Canadians and to set off a race to the bottom in terms of wages and conditions,” said Gil McGowan.
McGowan also noted at a news conference on Parliament Hill that the program is driving down wages and “giving employers an excuse to abdicate their responsibility to train the next generation of Canadians.”
McGowan said his group is not reassured by the initiatives being announced in April and that the government is just trying to give the appearance that it is doing something to respond to public outcry.
The changes made to the Temporary Foreign Worker Unit will have lasting effects on the Canadian economy and Canadian Labour Market. Only time will tell if the recent action taken by Parliament Hill will be enough to not only satiate public opinion but improve the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, limiting the potential for abuse by employers.