TFW round-up

Windsor’s temporary foreign workers doubled in 3 years: Statistics show the number of temporary foreign workers employed in Windsor has more than doubled since 2009.

The website for the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration shows 614 were employed in 2009. That number jumped to 1,550 in 2012, the last year for which data is available on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

The increase puzzles Mike Moffatt, a business professor at Western University in London, Ont.

Moffatt crunched the numbers of temporary foreign workers in southwestern Ontario.

He found use of them is on the rise, not just in Windsor, but across the region. At the same time, Moffatt says there is really no need for them.

Moffatt says part of the problem is that no one knows what these workers are doing in Windsor.

He would like the federal government to release that information.

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Jim Sinclair: Should Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program be scrapped? The recent headline in the daily press says it all: “Foreign workers drive unemployment up in B.C.”

The story quotes a study of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) from the CD Howe Institute – hardly an organization known for left-wing thinking on anything. The study’s researchers conclude that, contrary to business lobby group assertions that the TFWP has a positive impact on our economy, the program actually made unemployment worse.

The CD Howe report is not the first to slam the TFWP. A Parliamentary Budget Office report came to pretty much the same conclusion when it noted that “a higher portion of TFWs in the private sector could also be putting downward pressure on the private-sector job vacancy rate.”

Fort St. John Mayor calls for an end to Temporary Foreign Workers Program moratorium: Mayor Lori Ackerman says the suspension of the program is a barrier to business in the energy sector at a time when increased services are essential. According to Ackerman, development projects are halted and may be cancelled because a healthy labour pool is essential to a sustainable business plan.

“We understand and appreciate that Canadians are concerned about competition for jobs in Canada. However, the energy sector in Canada’s North West needs the support the TFW program provides” said Mayor Ackerman.

Memo to small business: Canadian workers aren’t unreliable and rude: There’s an offensive element that has crept into the debate over the temporary foreign workers program.

I’ve no doubt that some Canadians are late for work, I’m certain that some don’t want entry-level jobs, and I’m equally sure that foreign temps are hard-working souls.

But this should be a debate over alleged abuses of the program, and high unemployment, not whether Canadians are rude, three-toed sloths with extra digits. Which is, of course, wrong. And objectionable.

This comes amid mounting controversy over such workers and a shutdown of the program where restaurants are concerned.

Let us also not forget that it comes as unemployment hovers just below the 7% mark, with more than 1.3 million people out of work.

Canadians frantic for live-in caregivers fear foreign worker crackdown: Khristina Lawless is almost single-handedly raising five children and operating a cattle ranch in rural Saskatchewan as her husband works shifts in the oilfields to try to make ends meet.

Yet her attempts to hire a live-in caregiver to help with her kids, ranging in age from 5 to 17, have been unsuccessful, and the controversy dogging Ottawa’s troubled temporary foreign worker program has only made things worse.

“I’m not trying to take a Canadian’s job — literally no one applied when I put up postings,” Lawless, 37, said in an interview from tiny Maryfield, in the southeast reaches of the province, shortly after tending to a sick calf on Monday.