The number of temporary foreign workers allowed into Canada last year was more than the number of new jobs created during that year, latest figures released by the Canada government reveals.
221,273 TFWs were allowed into Canada in 2013, Minister Jason Alexander’s Citizenship and Immigration Canada reported while a mere 99,000 jobs were added to the Canadian economy in the same period, according to Statistic Canada. 1 2 This traces jobs from Dec. 2012 to Dec. 2013.
83,740 of the TFWs were approved on the basis of a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), while the remaining 137,533 came under the LMIA-exempt International Mobility Program (IMP). 1
Out of the 221,273 TFWs who entered Canada, at least 147,083 entered under categories with prearranged job offers, some potentially replacing Canadian employees, while Canadian job seekers had to compete with 74,190 open work permit holders in a job market where there are seven unemployed Canadians for every job vacancy.
“This goes to the heart of the foreign worker import scheme – no matter what title they give it this week and next – in that it was designed from the get go with corporate interests only in mind,” NTFW.CA advisor and Journeyman electrician Michael Thomas said. “We need to be designing immigration programs that solve problems and fill holes in our local development, not letting business design a slave system that forces Canadians to compete directly with the third world for local jobs.”
“Why has this not toppled the government yet?” he asked. “Past regimes have fallen for much, much less. First there was outsourcing, now we fight ‘in’sourcing.”
These findings come as an embarrassment to Minister Alexander and Employment Minister Jason Kenney, who announced a raft of measures to overhaul the much criticized temporary foreign worker program including splitting the program reporting into LMIA-controlled and LMIA-exempt categories.
The reforms themselves, however, come under heavy criticism for making it easier for big businesses to recruit TFWs instead of Canadians for higher skilled jobs while doing nothing to wean employers away from hiring foreign workers in the the low skilled service sector.
“This ‘shell game’ of TFW to IMP insults Canadians who have a sense of fairness and justice. Moving numbers around like lines on a budget they want to hide, but these are people,” Thomas added. “The numbers indicate that the government is intentionally overwhelming the employment system, creating a shadow employment market that Canadians cannot access but still must compete against. The result will be lower wages,less worker protections, less jobs for Canadians, and less economic activity in Canada.”
- Quarterly Administrative Data Release
Citizenship and Immigration Canada -> Reports and statistics -> Research and statistics -> Statistics
- Labour Force Survey, May 2014