Canada Continues to Import Labour for Limited Jobs

The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program has been promoted by the Harper Government, along with some business groups as being necessary to keep businesses open during Canada’s dire labour shortage.

Yet despite these claim, it appears that the reverse is true. Canada doesn’t have a shortage of labour, but a shortage of jobs. Recent data released by StatsCan has contradicted the basis for the TFW program. Canada has 21,000 fewer jobs available than in December of last year. StatCan reported the lowest number of job vacancies on record at 200,000 across the country.

It is important to note that the trend is not entirely as indicative as it seems. StatsCan has only been tracking this data since 2011. It is likely there were periods with even lower job vacancies during recent recessions, such as the 2008 international financial collapse. Still, the report released by StatsCan indicates that our job creation is down and struggling to get up. There are now 6.3 unemployed people per job vacancy, up from 5.7 unemployed people per vacancy a year earlier, as reported by the Huffington Post on interpreting the StatsCan data.

The TFW program has been controversial for some time now, and the revelation by the StatsCan study begs Canadians to question the TFW program in even closer detail. The program has already been connected to a series of exploitive working arrangements for temporary workers employer by major corporations in the fast food industry. The more attention the TFW receives the more the evidence continues to mount that the TFW program is being used by companies to replace existing Canadian workers with foreign ones. Employers had been able to pay foreign workers 15% less under the previous Federal rules.

BMO chief economist Doug Porter noted: “If there were truly pressing shortages, one would expect to see job vacancy tallies grinding higher as the jobless rate trends down, especially in some skilled trades sectors. Just the opposite has unfolded in the past year.” The number of job-seekers per job is increasing, even in Alberta.

If you are a foreign worker and you feel that you have been exploited by your employer or are working under unfair conditions, please contact the legal team at Edmonton Immigration Law, in Edmonton, today.

Posted on April 24th, 2014