Foreign Workers in Canada Fear Backlash, Loss of Dreams

Andrea Hopkins, Reuters, May 1, 2014


About 400,000 people came to Canada under the government’s temporary foreign worker program, which is designed to fill jobs for which there are no qualified Canadian candidates. The program has been hugely popular with employers, ballooning from 100,000 workers in 2002.

But the backlash against it has also grown as the program, initially designed to help the booming resource industry, has expanded to lower-skilled jobs, especially at restaurant chains such as McDonald’s Corp and Tim Hortons Inc.

Last week, the Conservative government slapped a moratorium on the food service industry hiring temporary foreign workers after media reports said that some restaurants had turned away qualified Canadians in favor of using foreigners to fill job openings.

Employment Minister Jason Kenney has acknowledged some abuses of the system and last year began tightening up the rules for employers to participate in the program. He has promised more changes.

{snip} While the program is explicitly designed to be temporary, some workers have been able to use provisions that allow for longer stays. Those loopholes appear to be closing as the government moves to contain the backlash against the hiring of temporary foreign workers.


With a national unemployment rate of 6.9 percent and joblessness as low as 4.5 percent and 4.9 percent in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta, many employers complain of a shortage of skilled or willing workers, especially in the mining and energy industries.

But youth unemployment is 13.6 percent, and critics of the program believe the use of foreign workers in low-skilled jobs boosts unemployment and suppresses wages. They say it gives employers access to a cheaper, more desperate worker, ripe for abuse and without a path to permanent residency or citizenship.

“The whole program is set up to create a class of people who have fewer rights. The program is innately exploitative,” said Yessy Byl, a human rights worker at the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre.

Byl, who has worked as an advocate for foreign workers for years, has heard of many kinds of abuse at the hands of Canadian employers who prefer the reliability of foreign workers to the whims of highly mobile Canadian workers in a strong economy.


Migrant advocacy groups are calling for the government to process pending work permit applications and to offer a way for workers already in Canada to make the transition to permanent residency, providing a lifeline to those left in the lurch.


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  • I don’t get it.

    Don’t native white Canadians have dreams?

    • Einsatzgrenadier

      They’re not allowed to have dreams, thanks to Ottawa’s policy of ethnic cleansing and rapid race replacement. Canadians aren’t allowed to get in the way of Ottawa’s wish to turn the country into a multicultural utopia… er, third world hell on earth that is heavily dependent on the brutal corporate exploitation of non-white slave labor.

      • obot

        Whites aren’t as quick to embrace communism and are harder to control. They must be replaced with more pliable races with lower IQ’s that are easier to herd.

        • Chip Carver

          Exactly. That’s why the folks you can never mention are ramping up their efforts to stuff the US with mestizos, indios, Africans and every other vibrant third world creature they can hand a welfare check to. The people in charge want to turn the US, Canada, every White Western nation on the planet into giant kosher burritos, with the usual suspects as the topping, lording it over their slaves.

    • kjh64

      No, their dreams don’t matter.

  • Truthseeker

    How does one become an advocate for foreigners? What makes one decide to put the interests of outsiders above the interests of their own people? That just seems fundamentally wrong to me.

    • Anna Tree

      There is a great amren article from Juy 2012 about a book about that white “compassion”, i.e. pathological altruism. Here is a summary:

      From Pathological Altruism, by Barbara Oakley et al.:

      “PA is generally defined as a sincere attempt to help others that instead harms others or oneself, and is “an unhealthy focus on others to the detriment of one’s own needs.”
      “PA is likely when people “falsely believe that they caused the other’s problems, or falsely believe that they have the means to relieve the person of suffering.”

      “the false belief that one’s own success, happiness, or well-being is a source of unhappiness for others.” PA “often involves self-righteousness” and can result in “impulsive and ineffective efforts to equalize or level the playing field.”

      “glorifying altruism is both recent and Western.” “a society must have a certain level of material wealth before it can value certain kinds of altruism.” “only Europeans have decided “to elevate altruism above other culturally promoted ideals, such as tribal patriotism and glory-at-arms, which our ancestors considered paramount.” They have gone even further, extending tribal altruism to the entire world, though “some other cultures consider this Western quality to border on madness.”
      But the whites who say it is madness are accused of racism… They are told that “Humanity as a whole might benefit the most if individuals made no sacrifices for their local group.”
      Seems the whites are the only race who don’t know about the prisoner’s dilemma! They cooperate! But all the other groups don’t. Check that game theory: we lost, they win.

      Again from that book “if groups want to act altruistically towards other groups they should at least look for groups that follow the same rules.”

  • bear grylls

    They used to have a program where workers were imported to replace more expensive domestic workers.They called it slavery.

    • Anna Tree

      “We should have used robots” (or give some character-building work to teens)
      will be the next:
      “We should have picked our own cotton”
      Sadly History repeats itself…

  • David Ashton

    Muslim guest-workers in Germany, a “good” example among many.

  • WR_the_realist

    We all know that all “temporary” immigrant workers and “temporary” refugees are never, ever, temporary. We still have temporary refugees from that El Salvador earthquake living here, and that happened over ten years ago.

  • dd121

    I nailed-up all of the posters. Come arrest me. I am Spartacus.

  • Truth Teller

    Can anyone explain what a resource industry is? I’ve never heard of it. Maybe mining or drilling? Lumber cutting? Solar energy? Water powered electrical plants?

    • Ron Cheaters

      Oil, gas, forestry, mining.

  • Truth Teller

    Let’s see,the ancients invaded other countries and brought back slaves to work their mines. Canadian mine owners get them more cheaply, the slaves come to them courtesy of the goverment.

  • IstvanIN

    Tim Horton’s and McDonald’s can not find qualified workers in Canada? Don’t they have big Indian (First Nations) unemployment problem? The same as US billionaires bringing in Mexicans when we have blacks and low-skilled whites unemployed. Insane.

    • Ron Cheaters

      The system, as it was allowed for companies who brought in immigrants, were permitted to pay the foreigners a percentage below minimum wage.

      • IstvanIN

        Modern day indentured servants? It still amounts to screwing your own people.

  • MBlanc46

    I’ve got a better idea. As soon as legally possible, deport them all. Sorry about that, employers.

    • William Krapek

      But what about their dreams? Their DREAMS?!!!

      • MBlanc46

        Their dreams are my nightmare.

  • benvad

    Send them back or to the gulf, either way they ain’t our problem.

  • PouponMarks

    A recent article in a financial magazine noted less college students working this summer. Years ago it was common for college students to come to Hawaii and pick pineapples to pay for a vacation. College students used to work at Disneyland under special programs.

    The USSA peaked about 1963. Since then it has been all downhill.

    • Anna Tree

      And it wasn’t not only to pay for vacations, or pay their studies and/or help pop and mom, but it was also building those teens’s character, something much needed nowadays… but heck let them turn obese and stuck to the video games while they loose their countries and future to 3rd worlders… sigh…

  • PvtCharlieSlate

    In somewhat the same vein, “fair share” always means “more”.

  • Truth Teller

    I think Yessy is some sort of arab or other middle eastern name. He or she is not Canadian, just a foreigner living in Canada.

    • IstvanIN

      British North America should have stayed just that. And of course, French, all under the same Crown.

  • kjh64

    Ah, I see they’re pulling the same “scam” up in Canada that they are here in the US. There is no sudden shortage of workers. What there is a shortage of is those who can work for slave wages. Employers want these 3rd world people who can work for less as well as flooding the country with them and driving down wages for all workers. Left wing politicians see all these new “voters” who will vote for them because of the handouts. Then of course, all of these slave wage 3rd worlders will have to use various forms of welfare because they won’t make a living wage, as well as their kids will need to be educated as well as those that get in trouble with the law will be imprisoned and make no mistake, crime will go way up. Who will pay for this? Yes, the Canadian taxpayer will pick up the tab for this “cheap labor”. Just like in the good ol’ USA.

  • mobilebay

    Perhaps I just didn’t notice, but has this epidemic of third worlds invading developed nations always been with us to this degree, or is a relatively recent travesty? Since we seen to throw good money after bad to the third world, why then are we expected to take care of them here. I’m sure this goes for other developed nations too.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    What kind of government would allow foreigners to displace the indigenous workforce by intensifying competition for available jobs and driving down wages, forcing them into the poorhouse and making it difficult for them to secure decent livelihoods? What kind of government would show preferential treatment to foreigners by giving them more rights than native-born citizens, without any consideration as to the future happiness and well-being of the country? What kind of government would turn a country that took hundreds of years to build into a dumping ground for the excess population of the third world? What kind of government would use massive third world immigration to ethnically cleanse its own indigenous population and replace their habitations with large third world slums? What kind of government would continuously import in very large numbers obviously racially and culturally incompatible foreigners, encourage their explosive population growth and as a result, allow these foreigners to threaten the lives and safety of the indigenous people?

    There is a sinister force at work in Ottawa, a force that could only be describes as pure evil. The Ottawa government is one of the greatest enemies there is of the white race and western culture. These psychopathic bureaucrats introduce the disease, poverty, illiteracy and various racial and religious hatreds of the third world into our lives and then have the temerity to call this “progress.” They all deserve to choke on their own blood.

  • Erasmus

    Anyone need still need proof that the primary duty of the “leaders” of western governments (Canada, the US, Australia, and Western Europe) is no longer protecting the rights and liberties of their native white populations.
    To paraphrase Pogo: We have met the enemy, and he is our country’s own “leadership.”

  • Pumonca

    No, I don`t even agree with the heavy industry thing. You see, you need `tickets` to get these heavy industry jobs, which Canadians (unless they qualify for EI) cannot get handed to them – they have to pay $145 or so per two-day course (Standard First Aid, H2S Alive! etc. Even fast-food wants a Foodsafe ticket). These refugees well, gosh, the employers PAY for their tickets – they WILL NOT DO THAT FOR A CANADIAN WELFARE CASE THAT DOES NOT QUALIFY FOR EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE – which means Canadians on welfare CAN NEVER GET A JOB – they’re locked out.

    Is that fair? NO. War on TFWs! It’s bad enough the bleedy heart types want to give them health care at a level working Canadians also have to pay for – and I don’t agree with them getting the level that welfare/disability cases get (native/Native, that is!)