“If there is a genuine shortage of labour in this country, we should bring them in as landed immigrants,” said Mable Elmore, the NDP MLA for Vancouver-Kensington and a co-presenter of Friday’s press conference at the Multicultural Helping House on Fraser Street in east Vancouver.
Elmore has been at the forefront of trying to stem a potential backlash against the workers, who were recruited to come to Canada in good faith.
Newton-North Delta NDP MP Jinny Sims called on the federal government to commission an independent audit of the program, which she characterized as “broken,” because it allows employers in markets with high youth unemployment to bring in temporary workers who wind up staying for extended periods.
Sims said the temporary foreign worker program does have a place for bringing in skilled workers that Canada doesn’t yet have, for short periods. But when it comes to the low-skilled hospitality sector, Sims said the government should do a full assessment of what the needs are for labour, and echoed Elmore’s plea to bring those workers in as immigrants.
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Low skill workers as immigrants? NDP gold.