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Wed Oct 24, 2012, 11:01 AM

Why Temporary Foreign Workers Are Political Dynamite

Peter O'Neil's Oct. 10 Vancouver Sun front-page story on 200 Chinese temporary workers being brought to B.C. to work in coal mines set off a storm and put the Clark government on the defensive. To many it looked like her jobs plan meant jobs for temporary Chinese miners. The number of temporary foreign workers in B.C. increased from 19,283 in 2002 to 69,955 in 2011. The number for Canada increased from 101,098 in 2002 to 300,211 in 2011. 



O'Neil wrote that anywhere from 1,600 to 2,000 Chinese nationals could find work in four projects in coming years. Jobs Minister Pat Bell quickly claimed the numbers wouldn't go that high, while also claiming that Canadians could not be found for the hard dirty underground mine jobs. Premier Clark said it will be years before the mines are open and the current group of foreign workers will only be here for a temporary project to extract a sample, claims that are challenged by the United Steelworkers. 



In a follow-up story on Oct. 19, O'Neil discussed allegations, first reported in The Tyee, that foreign workers are being asked to pay illegal recruitment fees. He quoted a spokeperson for HD Mining International that the temporary workers are employees with the company's existing mines in China. Of course, that by itself doesn't mean that they wouldn't pay for the opportunity to earn higher wages in Canada.


The B.C. government says it is investigating the allegations, but does anyone think a potential worker who has relatives in China is going to rat-out his recruitment agency? I know a caregiver who came to B.C. from the Philippines whose recruiter pursued and threatened her if she didn't pay a $6,000 fee. I am pleased to say she got support from new friends here to escape the recruiter's clutches, but it would be na´ve to think all such stories have happy endings.

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/10/22/Temp-Foreign-Workers/

http://www.nanaimobulletin.com/opinion/letters/175409341.html
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/10/22/bc-coal-miner-permits-demand.html

Perhaps to become an Alberta issue?

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Reply Why Temporary Foreign Workers Are Political Dynamite (Original post)
CHIMO Oct 2012 OP
UnclePoli Oct 2012 #1
CHIMO Oct 2012 #2

Response to CHIMO (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 04:35 PM

1. The challenge to multiculturalism

Thanks for your post, illuminating stuff.

Reminds me of this article which I recently read (Link) that talked about the alienation jobless youth are feeling, as a result of Canada's continued search for skilled immigrants. As employment rises, productivity lags and perhaps our currency comes back to Earth - I wonder if hard economic times could challenge the "open" immigration model that has been a staple of Canadian policy for... its entire history. I hope not, but it's food for thought.

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Response to UnclePoli (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 07:59 PM

2. It

May not be a challenge to multiculturalism but rather the death to multiculturalism. Much as the guest worker policy in Germany has been the death to multiculturalism.

The concept itself is wrong. If we need people that have a special ability then they should be given a boost to becoming citizens. The temporary worker permit is only a means to reduce wages.

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