Temporary foreign workers (TFW). Love them or hate them, they are here to stay. The program has been around since 2006 and continues to gain strength. We will not go over the entire system because there are thousands of sites that do it in very fine detail. Wikipedia is always a good source. What we will do is look at the effect TFWs have on a labour market. You can see it in the latest Youtube video here.
As in the video, it seems that for most part this program is being used to keep wages down which was not its goal. The entire system is under review at the moment and one of the current suggestions is to make the program be accessible only to firms in regions that have extremely low unemployment rates. This is a very good idea. A low unemployment rate is a good indicator that maybe a company legitimately cannot find a Canadian to fill the position. If the region has an unemployment rate of 8% then there is little reason to bring in foreigners to do the work. That single change would make a large difference. Although, there have been reports this week that workers are being hired to work in one city and then being moved to another as soon as their application is approved and they move to Canada. This type of behavior cannot be allowed to continue
All cases of worker exploitation must be eliminated. These workers should have regular check-ins by mail, email, a website or in person by someone from the labour ministry to ensure that they are not being abused or exploited. They should not be afraid to lose their job if they report abuse of the system. If abuse is reported and confirmed then they get put on top of a list for the next available position. Most of the jobs are low skill and if one company in a low unemployment region is having problems finding enough workers there are likely more in that same region willing to take a worker that has already passed through the application process for a discounted or no fee.
There is a lot of red tape in these proposed changes. The costs for the administration should be covered by the fees that firms pay when they apply to hire a TFW.
The next few months will reveal how the government is going to deal with all the recent negativity. I would like to see them implement the changes listed above and discuss making the TFW process a path to citizenship.