More foreign workers heading to Canada under the International Experience program for youth

Published: April 29, 2014
Canada-Asia

A Filipino mill worker of Canadian miner TVI Pacific wearing a heat protection suit. JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images

LEE-ANNE GOODMAN
THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA — Are you an employer keen to hire help from abroad, but nervous about the controversy dogging Ottawa’s temporary foreign worker program?

The government of Canada may have a solution for you.

Under the International Experience Canada program, as many as 20,000 workers aged 18 to 35 will soon be coming to Canada — just as Canadian youth begin pounding the pavement in search of summer jobs.

The program allows employers to bypass the labour market opinion process, which means there’s no need for government approval. As well, companies are not obliged to pay their workers the prevailing market wage.

The influx follows a spirited campaign by the government to attract skilled workers from abroad, including a 2012 trip to Ireland by Jason Kenney, then the immigration minister, to encourage Irish skilled workers to come to Canada.

More than half of those arriving on IEC visas are Irish and some are staying for as long as two years. The top countries of participation are France, Ireland, Australia, the UK, Germany, Japan, Korea and New Zealand.

Related Stories:

“Make your dream of travelling and working abroad a reality! International Experience Canada gives you the information and resources you need to travel and work in Canada,” beckons the promotional material on the government of Canada website.

In exchange, Canadians can apply to work in 32 participating countries that also include Ukraine, Slovenia and Slovakia. Government data, however, indicates that more than three times as many foreigners come to Canada under the program than the other way around.

Doug Parton of the Ironworkers union in B.C. has called on the government to crack down on the IEC, saying there are no skills assessments of the incoming workers and no requirement that companies pay workers the prevailing wage rate.

“It’s a complete free-for-all and it’s an attack on wages,” said Parton, the business agent for Ironworkers Local 97, which represents structural and reinforcing ironworkers in British Columbia.

Parton claims mines in B.C. are taking advantage of the program to bring in non-Canadian workers with none of the “checks and balances” ostensibly in place under the broader temporary foreign worker program.

One company in particular, Parton said, has been routinely bringing over dozens of temporary foreign workers under the program for more than a decade and paying them $13 an hour while providing no training whatsoever or apprenticeship opportunities to domestic workers.

“There’s been no commitment to our young Canadian workers; doors are getting slammed shut on them because companies are bringing in cheaper workers from other countries,” he said.

“No one’s anti-immigration — that’s not what this is about — it’s about making sure Canadian workers aren’t squeezed out of jobs by abusers of these programs.”

Alexis Pavlich, a spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, defended the program, which has existed since 1951.

“The IEC is a long-standing and popular program that enables limited numbers of young Canadians and foreign nationals to participate in a travel, live and work abroad cultural and economic exchange program,” Pavlich said in an email.

“Past program participants with in-demand skills and relevant experience may apply to immigrate to Canada. Our government’s priority will always be to ensure Canadians are given first crack at available jobs.”

She added the program is under review, along with the broader temporary foreign worker program, “to ensure that it meets Canada’s needs and interests.”

Liberal MP John McCallum, the party’s immigration critic, expressed dismay.

“It sounds like such a wholesome thing on the government’s website — people coming to discover Canada and Canadians going abroad to do the same,” he said in an interview.

“But this is a huge concern because it seems to totally subvert what they’re trying to do with temporary foreign workers. The government appears to be actively encouraging companies to participate in a program that doesn’t even require labour market opinions.”

He accused the Tories of startling inconsistency.

“On the one hand they’re saying, ‘Do whatever you want,’ and on the other hand they’re saying, ‘We have a moratorium.’ That’s not exactly speaking with one voice.”

Follow Lee-Anne Goodman on Twitter at leeanne25


Tags: , , , , ,





Featured

Surrey Six

Forum at Surrey gurdwara to address recent shootings and drugs-related violence

‘The gurdwara feels responsible to pro-actively engage with the public in stopping this senseless violence’ SURREY NOW SURREY — Eileen Mohan, the mother of “Surrey…
Continue Reading »

police-Newton-desi-Vancouver-BC

Surrey NDP MPs Jinny Sims and Jasbir Sandhu call on Tories to help stop shootings

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — Surrey’s NDP MPs are calling on the federal Conservative government to do something to help stop a flurry of…
Continue Reading »

Surrey-desi-politics-shootings-crime-Arun

Podcast: NDP MLA Harry Bains talks about April 19 shooting in Surrey

VANCOUVER DESI In this week’s podcast, Province political columnist Michael Smyth talks to NDP MLA Harry Bains about the April 19 shooting death of his…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Surrey Six

Forum at Surrey gurdwara to address recent shootings and drugs-related violence

‘The gurdwara feels responsible to pro-actively engage with the public in stopping this senseless violence’ SURREY NOW SURREY — Eileen Mohan, the mother of “Surrey…
Continue Reading »

police-Newton-desi-Vancouver-BC

Surrey NDP MPs Jinny Sims and Jasbir Sandhu call on Tories to help stop shootings

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — Surrey’s NDP MPs are calling on the federal Conservative government to do something to help stop a flurry of…
Continue Reading »

Hollywood-Bollywood

Harold & Kumar actor Kal Penn stars in film being shot in B.C.

MICHAEL D. REID TIMES COLONIST Kal Penn is coming to town to star in The Girl in the Photographs, a horror feature that began shooting…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Hollywood-Bollywood

Harold & Kumar actor Kal Penn stars in film being shot in B.C.

MICHAEL D. REID TIMES COLONIST Kal Penn is coming to town to star in The Girl in the Photographs, a horror feature that began shooting…
Continue Reading »

PARENTS-VIOLENCE

Video shows a mom beating school staff after her daughter was stopped from carrying cellphone

  HINDUSTAN TIMES A woman allegedly beat up the director of a school in Jalandhar after her daughter was stopped from carrying a mobile phone…
Continue Reading »

fetish-desi sex-school girl-viral video

Video shows a young girl being brutally beaten with a stick, kicked by her father

VANCOUVER DESI A viral video of a father brutally beating up a young girl will make you shiver with anger and disgust, and want to…
Continue Reading »

gang life prevention

End Gang Life: Problems surrounding gun violence run deeper than skin colour or culture

SGT. LINDSEY HOUGHTON SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Kids are shooting at each other.  The violence these children are engaged in with each other has now…
Continue Reading »

desi sex-video-lust-bollywood

Video shows how a woman reacted when a pervert kept staring at her breasts

VANCOUVER DESI In a conservative country like India, where women’s rights are suppressed way too often, what do you do when a lecherous man won’t…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Desi-sex-boobs-india-porn-bollywood

Indo-Canadian actress Sunny Leone: People write all sort of crazy stories about me

HINDUSTAN TIMES Actor Sunny Leone, recently hit headlines when she was quoted as saying that she doesn’t like being compared to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The…
Continue Reading »

Deepika Padukone

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone not interested in donning producer’s hat

HINDUSTAN TIMES While many of her contemporaries like Anushka Sharma and Ranbir Kapoor have entered the realm of film production, actor Deepika Padukone says that…
Continue Reading »

Kangana Ranaut

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut “had to learn triple jump for Tanu Weds Manu Returns”

HINDUSTAN TIMES We have seen actor Kangana Ranaut play a Delhi girl many times. Be it the flamboyant Tanu in Tanu weds Manu (2011) or…
Continue Reading »