Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has always vehemently denied bringing cheap foreign labour into Canada. Employers had to pay foreign temporary workers “the prevailing wage,” he pointed out.And as reprehensible as that is, Lorne brings up the other part of this and it isn't pretty.
That indeed is what the rules said – until Wednesday, when Human Resources Minister Diane Finley quietly changed them. Employers will now be allowed to pay foreign temp workers 15 per cent less than the average wage.
“We are taking action to ensure that the temporary foreign worker program support our economic recovery and effectively responds to local labour market demands,” she said at a manufacturing plant in Nisku, Alta.
Kenney chimed in from Ottawa. “Going forward our government will consider additional measures to strengthen and improve the program,” he promised.
Business leaders, eager to recruit low-cost workers abroad, were delighted. Immigrant support groups, already fighting to protect temporary foreign workers from exploitation, were heartsick. And labour leaders warned that the wage cut would bring down the pay scale for all workers and make it harder for Canadians to compete for jobs in their own country.
Either you start working for less or we'll go outside the country and find someone who will. Once you're laid-off, you won't receive EI benefits unless you take a low wage job, which will end your EI eligibility.
Welcome to Harper's Canada.