Harper Government’s Half-Hearted Announcement on TFWs in Food Services Does Nothing to Protect TFWs from Ongoing Employer Abuse

Vancouver, BC - Yesterday's Government of Canada announcement that it would suspend the Temporary Foreign Worker Labour Market Opinions (LMOs) in the food services sector would do nothing to protect current TFWs from abuse nor would it put unemployed Canadians back to work.

The Government of Canada has allowed the TFW program to swell dramatically in the entry-level sector in the past few years.

"Every week we hear more stories of abuse of Temporary Foreign Workers by employers while at the same time Canadian residents are losing their jobs,” said Jim Sinclair. “Minister Kenney must act immediately to end the use of TFWs in lower-wage categories jobs such as childcare, cleaning, hair-dressing and retail work.”

The Federation reiterated its demand that the Government of Canada:

  1. Provide all TFWs a path to residency through Immigration Canada; and
  2. Immediately restore the TFW program to its original intent of filling short-term, high-skill positions.

Further, the Federation called on the BC Government to step-up to ensure that TFWs have real access to protection by creating a provincial registry of Employers and mandating the Employment Standards Branch to investigate and provide advocacy in cases of employer abuse.

The more than 160,000 unemployed British Columbians should be given opportunity to fill the entry level positions where the Government of Canada has authorized TFWs including: truck drivers, hair salons, childcare, construction, retail services, and health care.

“Canada has had a boom and bust resource-based economy for over 150 years and our country has managed that through immigration, skills training, and hard-work,” said Jim Sinclair. “The Government of Canada would have you believe that the Canadian economy would collapse without vulnerable temporary workers - which is simply untrue.”