Wednesday, September 21, 2016

TPP - the TFW Program on steroids

The Human Resources Committee, HUMA - 6 Libs, 3 Cons, and 1 NDP - released its report on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program yesterday, after a month of hearing from 43 witnesses as varied as Lululemon and the Migrant Mothers Project.

Industry complaints initiated the study. The committee was asked to find a balance between employers desperate for TFWs for jobs they are unable to fill with Canadians and the rights of workers.  

I looked up a few of those desperate employers on various Canadian job search sites. If they're not desperate enough to be advertising these job vacancies where Canadians can find them, why exactly is government in the business of engineering TFWs to fill them? 

Here's just part of the dissenting report submitted by the lone NDP committee member alongside the main report : 

International Mobility Program and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
The previous Conservative government split the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in two – the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which covers streams requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment, and the International Mobility Program (IMP), in which no assessment of the impact on the Canadian labour market is required. 
The IMP is actually much larger than the TFWP (nearly twice the size in 2014), yet the committee review paid no attention to the IMP, the role that the IMP plays in the Canadian economy, and the impact that it has on workers. This is very disappointing. 
This is of particular concern since the Liberal government is looking to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. In addition to harming our economy, this agreement will expand access to the IMP, allowing employers to bring in foreign workers without any assessment of the impact on the Canadian labour market, even if Canadian workers are available to do the job. This has led some to describe the TPP as “the temporary foreign worker program on steroids.”
Back in 2013, 38% of foreign nationals came in under the TFWP, but 62% came in under the IMP

Then there's the ICTs, or Intra-Company Transfers, which Jason Kenney helpfully told us when he was Employment Minister were "often hard-wired into trade deals". 

ICTs "enables international companies with a presence in Canada to transfer their existing employees to their Canadian location".  And if you don't already have a branch in Canada - well, we got an app for that:
"Foreign businesses wishing to establish a Canadian enterprise may use the ICT Start-Up Visa program to bring key workers to the country to open a new office and begin doing business."
Back in June, Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk told a room full of union officials that she plans to toast the day the Liberal government shuts down the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, but in the meantime they've "already quietly made one change, removing restrictions on the number of workers seasonal employers can bring in through the program this year."

Of course all this will be moot if the TPP goes through. 12A :
Canada shall grant temporary entry and provide a work permit or work authorization to Professionals and Technicians and will not:(a) require labour certification tests or other procedures of similar intent as a condition for temporary entry; or(b) impose or maintain any numerical restriction relating to temporary entry.


Anonymous said...

As we know the TPP is not a trade deal, it is corporate bill of rights. The TPP makes it easier for what Trudeau and Obama basically said at the UN. They call it progressive internationalism or as we call it global government by the unelected, patterned after western governments. The TFW program is designed to service the unelected. That's it in a nutshell.

Kev said...

“We’re also going to reduce some of the barriers and the silly rules … in order to give companies freedom to bring in the best and the brightest,” said Mr. McCallum. “We’ll get rid of many of these [required] labour-market impact assessments which slow things down enormously.”

This is but one area where the Liberal government is readying Canada for the implementation of these corporate rights agreements.

At the time of implementation they'll say ....Look most of this s already happening so no biggie

West End Bob said...

What Kev said . . . .

Lorne said...

I wish I could say i am shocked by this, but I am only appalled - appalled that our 'new' government is looking increasingly like our old one and, as your post makes clear, even worse, Alison. Would that those blinded by Mr. Trudeau's smile would begin to see the real light.

John B. said...

Now we have to sit there on the receiving end as Canada's second greatest Great Economist takes his turn at addressing the class.

I've been on jobs where companies had exercised their "freedom to bring in the best and brightest" to the extent that they were able from foreign sources. Having observed various performances and outcomes that contradict Mr. McCallum's implicit suggestion of productivity gains, the conclusion that I arrived at was "cheapest". I take it that often "cheaper" is "better" and "brighter" enough for the bottom line.

Is there any chance that we could expand the pool, possibly to foreign sources, so that we could bring in a better and brighter √úberminister of Wage Suppression? Maybe just cheaper for now.

This guy makes me want to puke.

e.a.f. said...

this is a way to ensure workers in Canada don't unionize any futher than they have. employers will simply bring in workers from wherever, who will be complient and not complain. More and more Canadians will sit idle at home on E. I. or welfare while others come in, take their jobs and corporations take the money and run, without of course paying their fair share of taxes.

We need to look carefully behind Trudeau's smile and progressive chat. It may simply be a smoke screen for what he plans to do with our country.

Alison said...

If you have time to read it, there's a lot more good points in the dissenting report at the end of the main HUMA one, paticularly on the plight of TFWs and migranrt workers. I just concentrated here on the part about TFWs and the TTPP.

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