A Short Account of The Temporary Foreign Worker Program

  • Officially companies use it to find temporary workers from other countries when qualified Canadian residents aren’t available.5
  • Sometimes the company needs a positive govt Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA, formerly LMO). A positive LMIA says there is no Canadian resident for the job5
    — Firms must first advertise job to Canadian residents 16
    — Some TFWs don’t need an LMIA due to trade agreements.5
    — TFWs are now limited to a maximum of four years in Canada as of 2012 8
  • A TFW must keep their job with this employer to stay in Canada8
    — They cannot leave for another job. If they are fired, they can be deported.

     Intra-company Transfers

  • Companies don’t need an LMIA if they bring in their own foreign workers with ‘special skills or management ability’ 2
    — Some of these workers have been hired out to other companies and have no special skills. Both things violate the terms of the visa.2

     Government Deputy Minister Notes Program Abuse

  • May 29, 2012 Dep. Minister for HRSDC says there’s evidence firms hire TFWs in same job, location as Canadians on EI 10
    — In Jan. 2012 over 1,200 food counter attendants were approved for Alta. while over 300 Albertans citing relevant experience made EI claims10

     Studies: TFW program hurts young people and immigrants

  • Labour economists: A TFW Program is necessary, but its size has lowered wages & hurt incentives to train workers 8   11
    — Young people11 and immigrants8   11 have likely been hurt the most

     The Government’s Record Before the RBC Scandal

  • 2003    TFW program is expanded beyond agriculture (Table Figures rounded to nearest thousand)
Year TFWs admitted TFWs Present
(Dec.1)
2003 103,000     18 110,000   19
2006 138,000     18 161,000   19
2009 177,000     18 281,000   19
2012 214,000     9   18 338,000     5   19
2013 221,000   28 386,000     29   30
  • # TFWs present after harvest season has more than tripled in 10 years, to 386,000 29   30
  • 2012 – As TFW numbers soar above 300,000 the Harper Govt. starts pilot program to let firms pay TFWs up to 15 % less than prevailing wages  6
    — Officially they couldn’t be paid less than a Canadian in same job & location 7   9
  • December 2013 There are 6.3 unemployed workers per available job, up from 5.7 in Dec. 2012 (Stats Can.)4

     Royal Bank Scandal & Aftermath

  • Feb. 2013 – 45 IT jobs cut by Royal Bank of Canada1
    — Canadians are replaced by iGate Corp. workers brought in via TFW program1
    — The jobs were to be transferred to India1   9
  • April 6, 2013 RBC story breaks 1
  • Apr. 29, 2013 – After uproar over Royal Bank layoffs and heavy criticism, Harper govt:
    — eliminates the ‘up to 15% less’ pilot program 9   17
    — States businesses must have plan to switch to Canadian workforce 9
    — Introduces fee on user firms to fund TFW program. 9
    As of May 2014 Canadian companies face a $275 fee to apply for TFWs.
    In the U.S. companies pay up to $2,300. 22

2013 Breakdown

  • 221,000 temporary workers entered Canada. 138,000 were IMP workers – 62%   28
  • 386,000 temp. workers were present Dec.1.   260,000 were IMP workers – 67%   29   30

     No Effective Reforms In 2014

  • Jan. 2014: Employment Minister Jason Kenney promises reforms 23
  • April 24, 2014 After several media stories about the program displacing Canadian workers, TFW program is suspended and later reinstated 21
  • June 2, 2014 Dept. of Employment & Social Development states no inspections of TFW workplaces have been done; start expected fall 2014 25
  • June 13, 2014 Govt. says new ‘Express entry’ immigration program will meet needs for workers by admitting immigrants with job skills 24
    May 1, 2014 Govt. starts accepting 25,000 applications for Skilled Worker Program​, up from 5,000 in 2013 24

 June 20 Changes

  • LMOs renamed LMIAs; TFWs requiring an LMIA are still under the TFW program 26
  • TFWs with no LMIAs process are now under International Mobility Programs (IMPs) 26
  • The only new restrictions on bringing in IMP temporary workers are
    — $330 in fees 26
    — Requiring firms involved to submit their job offers to CIC 26

The Following Restrictions Apply Only to TFWs who require LMIAs

  • Firms with over 10 workers can’t have over 10% of a worksite’s staff be low-wage TFWs 26
  • No new low-wage TFWs in food service, hotels or retail where unemployment is 6% +   26  
  • Companies receiving LMIAs will be published 27
  • Companies applying for LMIAs can’t lay off or reduce hours of Canadian residents 26   27
  • LMIA fee is increasing from $275 to $1,000 26   27
  • Employers of on-farm TFWs are exempt from fee, cap on low-wage TFWs & shorter permit time. 26   27
  • Employers of live-in caregivers exempt from cap and shorter permit time 26
  • 10-day fast track LMIA is introduced for high-demand & high-paid occupations (skilled trades) and for work periods of 120 days or less if wages are above provincial median 31
  • June 23, 2014 It is disclosed RCAF has been using TFWs as military pilots 32
    — Air force concedes saving on training costs was a factor in choice 32

 

 

Works Cited

  1. RBC replaces Canadian staff with foreign workers
    By Kathy Tomlinson, CBC News
    Posted Apr 6, 2013      Last updated Apr 6, 2013  Accessed May 23, 2013
  2. Insiders say Canada ‘scammed’ by foreign worker industry
    By Kathy Tomlinson, CBC News
    Posted Apr 29, 2013   Last updated Apr 29, 2013 Accessed May 23, 2013
  3. Canadian on EI shut out amid foreign worker influx
    By Kathy Tomlinson, CBC News
    Posted May 20, 2013   Last updated May 20, 2013 Accessed May 27, 2013
  4. Job vacancies, three-month average ending in December 2013
    Statistics Canada
  5. Fact Sheet — Temporary Foreign Worker Program
    Accessed May 27, 2013
  6. Rise in foreign temp workers questioned by labour groups
    By Amanda Pfeffer, CBC News
    Posted Apr 10, 2013   Last Updated Apr 10, 2013               Accessed May 27, 2013
  7. Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program Set To Change
    By Louise Béchamp, Karen M. Sargeant and Brian P. Smeenk, Fasken Martineau.
    Last Updated: May 23 2013
  8. Temporary foreign workers: Filling labour gap or depressing wages?
    By Peter O’Neil And Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun
    January 7, 2013
  9. ‘Not in the interest of Canadian business’: Employers unhappy with Conservatives’ foreign workers bill
    April 30, 2013
  10. Temporary foreign workers hired in areas with EI claimants
    Posted May 6, 2013    Last updated May 7, 2013                Accessed May 29, 2013
    By David McKie, CBC News
  11. Temporary foreign worker program lowers wages, thwarts training, economists say
    By Tavia Grant, Economics Reporter, The Globe and Mail
    Published Apr. 12, 2013   Last updated Apr. 13, 2013              Accessed May 29, 2013
  12. Foreign worker investigation continues.
    Global News
    April 24, 2013.             Accessed May 30, 2013
  13. Foreign workers allegedly paid $3 an hour in Halifax granted reprieve from deportation.
    Global News
    April 24, 2013.             Accessed May 30, 2013
  14. Who’s looking out for Tim Hortons’ temporary foreign workers?
    By Fabiola Carletti and Janet Davison, CBC News.
    Posted: Dec. 12, 2012  Last Updated Dec. 13, 2012.            Accessed May 30, 2013
  15. Temporary foreign worker bust made in Kingsville.
    Posted May 16, 2013    Last Updated May 16, 2013             Accessed May 30, 2013
  16. Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Agricultural Workers. Live-in Caregivers. Lower-skilled Occupations. Higher-skilled Occupations.Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Advertising period: 4 weeks  Wages: prevailing median wage or union level
    16.1      Stream for Lower-skilled Occupations
    16.2      Stream for Higher-skilled Occupations
    16.3      Federal Skilled Worker Program
    16.4      Federal Skilled Trades Program
    Advertising period: 14 days  Wages: Minimum wage (caretakers) or Agricultural minimum wage ($10-12/hour)
    16.5      Hiring Seasonal Agricultural Workers
    16.6      Agricultural Stream
    16.7      Hiring Live-in Caregivers and Nannies
  17. Foreign worker program gets new rules, higher fees
    Posted Apr. 29, 2013 Last Updated Apr. 29, 2013              Accessed Jan.6, 2014
    By Meagan Fitzpatrick , CBC News
  18. Total entries of foreign workers by province or territory and urban area.
    Under: Facts and figures 2012 – Immigration overview: Permanent and temporary residents, Temporary residents, Canada.
    Accessed Jan.9, 2014
  19. Foreign workers present on December 1st by province or territory and urban area.
    Under: Facts and figures 2012 – Immigration overview: Permanent and temporary residents, Temporary residents, Canada – Foreign workers present on December 1st by province or territory and urban area
    Accessed Feb.26, 2014
  20. Consultants offer to pair temporary foreign workers with firms
    By Lee-Anne Goodman, The Canadian Press
    May 2, 2014
  21. Temporary foreign worker plans won’t help, says Alberta minister
    By CBC News
    May 16, 2014 Last Updated: May 16, 2014
  22. Business nervous about Tory ‘wage floor’
    By Lee-Anne Goodman, Canadian Press
    May 16, 2014                              Accessed June 19, 2014
  23. Jason Kenney’s reputation takes a beating as controversy rages over temporary foreign workers
    By Lee-Anne Goodman, Canadian Press
    April 29, 2014                             Accessed June 19, 2014
  24. Skilled immigrants recruited in 50 occupations ahead of ‘express entry’ launch
    By Susana Mas, CBC News
    Posted: Jun 13, 2014 Last Updated: Jun 13, 2014  Accessed June 20, 2014
  25. Tory government fails to inspect a single place hiring temporary foreign workers despite promise made last year
    By Steve Rennie, Canadian Press
    June 20, 2014  Accessed June 20, 2014
  26. Government of Canada Overhauls Temporary Foreign Worker Program
    June 20, 2014
  27. A guide to the ‘reformed’ temporary foreign worker program
    By Jason Fekete, & Mark Kennedy, Ottawa Citizen
    June 20, 2014
  28. Quarterly Administrative Data Release
    Accessed June 24, 2014
  29. Canada – Temporary Foreign Worker work permit holders present on December 1st by province or territory and urban area, 2009-2013
    Accessed June 24, 2014
  30. Canada – International Mobility Program Work Permit Holders Present on December 1st by Province/Territory and Urban Area, 2009-2013
    Accessed June 24, 2014
  31. Restricting Access
    Accessed June 25, 2014
  32. Air force hiring foreign pilots to fly front-line jets
    By: Bruce Campion-Smith Toronto Star Ottawa Bureau,
    Published June 23, 2014               Accessed June 27, 2014
  33. New caps for Federal Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Trades Programs, and Canadian Experience Class.
    Apr 23, 2014                                    Accessed July 2, 2014
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Comment (1)

  1. Get rid of Harper!! Quit voting this guy in already….if he is screwing our own country over , has no moral fibre & is just another greedy politician; probably will be appointed to the biggest farce in politics, which is of course the Senate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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