The Globe and Mail editorial board weighs in on Temporary Foreign workers program and it has to be one of the most scattered editorials I have ever read. It occurred to me that this was the most blatant examples of cognitive dissonance in print that I have read in the last ten years.
It starts off fairly strong, and underscores the most recent C.D. How Institute study to add moral heft to the beginning, and I quote the G& M's own words on thestudy:
A study released this week by the C.D. Howe Institute, titled “Temporary Foreign Workers: Are They Really Filling Labour Shortages?,” concludes that they aren’t, and the program actually raised unemployment levels in the two provinces examined, Alberta and British Columbia. The author, Simon Fraser University public policy professor Dominique M. Gross, also found that the steady ramping up of the program over the past decade occurred “even though there was little empirical evidence of shortages in many occupations.”
But the dissonance comes at the end:
There are economic reasons to rethink and scale back Canada’s temporary foreign worker program. But there’s also the question of the kind of society we want. Do we want a class of working strangers who come here, do our dirty work and then are forced to leave? Canada has always wanted something else: immigrants. People who cross the seas to become our neighbours and our fellow citizens. We don’t just want them to work for us. We want them to join us, as Canadians.
No, actually, I don't believe we want them to join as as Canadians. I would have thought the entire point of bringing in temporary foreign workers is to have them leave, which is why they are brought into the country under a temporary visa rather than as legal landed immigrants.
In fact, I would wage that most of the half million temporary foreign workers currently in this country do not even come close to matching the skill set necessary to enter Canada through the normal immigration channels. Given the destruction of manufacturing and factory in this country through free trade agreements and globalization; the last thing the country needs, is an influx of more unskilled workers – we have plenty of our own homegrown ones, and if the C.D. Howe study is to believed, the presence of these temporary foreign workers act only to suppress wages and keep our own citizens poor and unemployed.