Ottawa making easier to change job seeker market back to employer favored marker
Ottawa is making is easier to enable wage slavery and return the job market back in favor of employers.
Carla Qualtrough, the Minister of Labour, announced a slew of changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program that will loosen limitations and allow employers to outsource employment to low-wage foreign workers.
A coalition of industry groups has been calling for emergency access to more TFWs to help prevent so-called “deficiencies in the food supply”. Some industry groups have been lobbying for months for changes to help flood the job market with more workers to lower competition for attracting workers to a minimum claiming “persistent staffing shortages were putting their operations at risk”.
However, labour groups argue that the amendments will increase the flow of workers into Canada while failing to address a fundamental problem in the program that has left TFWs vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
According to a March 22 study from Statistics Canada, Canada’s labour shortage approached 1 million unfilled jobs in the fourth quarter of 2021, up 80% from pre-pandemic levels. Job vacancies peaked in September at roughly 988,000, then progressively declined to 830,000 in January, the most recent month for which data is available.
Most of the strict COVID restrictions and vaccine mandates came in around that same time period where businesses started to discriminate against people that did not receive 2 doses of the Covid-19 immunization shot.
Currently, most employers are allowed to hire TFWs in low-wage positions for up to 10 per cent of their workforces.
If you thought you had bargaining power for employment with better wages and benefits, that is now short lived and now expect an explosion in competition to be hired.
Come April 30th, the government is jacking up the cap for TFW to 30 per cent for the next year for employers in the seven industries the government caused the most damage to during the pandemic, including food service, health care, food processing, and construction. The cap for employers outside those industries will rise to 20 per cent.
Seasonal businesses, such as seafood processing, will be excluded from the limits, as they have been since 2015. Seasonal work will be permitted to last 270 days each year, up from 180 days previously.
The federal government would also lift a restriction on businesses using TFWs in retail and food service in areas where the unemployment rate is higher than 6%.
Prior to the pandemic, employers were required to fill out paperwork every six months to demonstrate that they couldn’t find domestic workers to fill the positions. The rule was relaxed to nine months during the pandemic. Those applications will now only need to be submitted every 18 months.
The changes will allow food processors in Canada to hire an additional 12,000 TFWs this year, according to an estimate from Food and Beverage Canada (FBC), a lobby group.
All of these groups and employers lobbying for the increase of the cap limit are looking to hire people from outside of the community, really outside of the country, reducing employment opportunities for high school students and other people in the local community.
Since December, FBC has been leading a coalition of 11 trade groups, pushing the federal government to lift caps on TFWs to 30 per cent of the workforce to “help stabilize the food supply chain.” The coalition applauded the changes, announced April 4, as did the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
It will be safe to safe none of these businesses will be able to claim they are Canadian owned and operated considering up to on third of the staff can be TFW.