The temporary foreign worker program in Canada is a much-discussed topic today. Reactions from Canadians at the loss of Canadian jobs to these temporary workers and out-sourcing run from anger, disbelief, loss of trust, affirmation of suspicions and fear of evisceration of the middle class, to support for making these workers permanent residents.
Historically, this program was created in support of agribusiness and delivery of home healthcare for families with elderly parents, family or friends. But in the mid-90’s, the Conservative government super-sized the TFW program to allow any business to hire skilled TFWs if they were unable to fill those roles with Canadians.
Now, in some instances, the need for a temporary foreign worker is very real. But, be it lesser skilled or high skilled, in business or for personal health reasons, it plays as wage suppression and, at times, labour abuse. On some level, one can understand it from the vantage point of a small business or average family that cannot afford to pay the wages of an equivalent Canadian worker, but not so when it is a bank raking in billions in profits.
On a personal note, I’m reminded of a post I wrote on one of my other blogs The Middling Ages, which detailed our family’s exceedingly frustrating experience with personal support workers whom we sponsored during. It is only one example of a poorly constructed program overly abused by all factions of all participants.
You can read our family’s experience at What Happened to the Care in Caregiving? The program is in desperate need of a rethink and rewrite.