There is a lie I hear over and over
again. It has been repeated so often, and in so different venues, by some many different people that it is now taken for a bold-faced fact, when it is a
nothing more than a bold-faced lie. In it's simplest form it is
expressed as 'the jobs Canadians won't do'.
I am a Canadian, and there are very few
jobs I haven't done at one time or another, based on the simplest of
economic principle; need. I have been a waitress at a truck stop,
chambermaid, retail sales clerk, and lumber broker – even if I was
a disaster as a lumber broker – collections clerk, bindery manager,
ballet dancer, bookkeeper, secretary, law clerk, project coordinator,
writer, painter, but the point is, whatever I did, I gave it my best
try. I showed for work every day, and I worked, often very hard, very
long, and more often than I care to remember, for very little pay.
I never thought a job was beneath me
when it came to paying my bills. After 50 odd years, I know very few
Canadians who won't do the same. My oldest son, has been getting up
every Saturday morning to be at work by 4:30am and stays on his feet
until 6pm, and he has been doing it since he was 14. He's 21 now. My
youngest son, works at a movie theatre, and often does closings –
well after 1am – and that on school nights. My daughter is a
neuro-scientist, who has spent the last 18 months working as a
receptionist because she could not get a job in her field. Now she
found a job in her field, so she gets up and leaves the house by 6:00
am so she can be in the operating room at 7am. Just a regular family
of Canadian slackers are we.
I am sure we can all find the odd
Canadian soul, who refuses to work, there is hardly a culture in the
world that does have a few of those kicking around, scamming the
system or running a con. But by and large, Canadians do work, and
work hard. So when I read things like, well, what Doug Sanders wrote
on the Temporary foreign worker program, my craw is crossed.
Doug Sanders is a journalist, and that
allegedly makes him my intellectual superior and moral better, and he
believes we there are jobs Canadians won't do, and that's why we have
the Temporary Foreign Workers program in the first place - so we can
import 500,000 million Nannies and Tim Horton's coffee
servers/cashiers. If he just ended it there, I wouldn't be writing,but he just couldn't stop himself.
He had to go on and suggest there
should be a fast-track to citizenship for TFWs in Canada since they
should be rewarded for all the pain and suffering they endure being
separated from their families in order to pick up Canadian dirty
laundry and pass out the Timmie's cups.
He does not bother to read reports his
own paper published on abuses to the TFW program or even the most
recent report from C.D. Howe Institute
which suggested the TFW
program actually worked to lower or suppressed wages, and helped
increase unemployment in the two provinces the institute studied.
The Alberta Federation of Labour is taking aim at the federal
government, after Today
discovered that 270 Canadian workers had been replaced with temporary
foreign workers at Husky Energy’s Sunrise site.
The site – located 60 kilometres north of Fort McMurray –
is the workplace for more than 1,500 people, however, the AFL
estimates that less than one-third of those workers are Canadian
...In an exclusive article published Tuesday, Today discovered
that the non-union Italian construction firm Saipem gave
Toronto-based and unionized firm Black & MacDonald contracts to
complete the project’s first phase. Husky says construction on the
project was finishing, and Black & MacDonald reduced their
workforce. However, Saipem replaced those workers with temporary
foreign workers from Mexico, Italy, Portugal and Ireland to begin
work on other projects. Many Canadian workers were told there shift
was abruptly coming to an end during the Labour Day long weekend.
And not a single Nanny on sight at Husky Energy's Sunrise sit.
Think this is a one-off? Think again.
Despite promises to rehire
Canadians who were replaced by foreign workers last week, Pacer
Promec Joint Venture still has not offered the affected workers their
jobs back. According to the Alberta Federation of Labour, the
company has not contacted any of the 65 ironworkers who were
unceremoniously replaced with temporary foreign workers - mostly
recruited from Croatia - on Feb. 4. The ironworkers were working at Imperial Oil’s Kearl Lake
project north of Fort McMurray and were not given any prior warnings
So what do North Calgary Massage Works, RC Contracting Roofing,
Acess Taxi, Fas Gas, Cabon Construction Inc, Cardinal Coachlines
-First Student Canada, Cavabien Hair Studio & Day Spa Ltd., CB
Brothers Transportation Ltd, Continental Auto Body 1998 Ltd, D.R.
Painting, Fraser Construction, Cassady Welding Services, Canadian
Freight Solutions Ltd, Canyon Creek Toyota, SAM Associates Tax
Consultants Inc, Divine Hair Salon, Saipem Construction Canada Inc.,
all have in common?
They all received positive Market Opinions (LMO) from the
Integrity Division, Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Human Resources
and Skills Development Canada. There is a pdf found here
of a report
run June 20, 2012 by the government. The report runs 475 pages and
details every company in Alberta which started the process to import
TFWs into Canada. I am not saying these companies did bring
in foreign workers, but they did begin the process. Tim Hortons,
McDonalds, Wendy's Family Restaurants, are all there as well, but
iron workers, welders, construction workers, tax consultants, hair
stylists, truckers, roofers, commercial paintings and drywallers,
taxi drivers, school bus drivers, auto body workers, and massage
therapists are all jobs Canadians won't do? I don't believe it for a
The point Sander's does not get it is
twofold. Temporary Foreign Workers brought into this country do not
meet the bench markets for legal immigration to Canada which is why
they are brought into this country under the TFW visa program. One
good recession, and they would become a burden on the already
over-burdened Canadian tax payers. Furthermore, there is simply no
guarantee if you fast-tracked the TFW into citizenship they would be
able to keep their jobs. If your employer's deeply flawed business
model relies on labour based on a modern form of indentured
servitude, well, your former TFW would simply be SOL - just like the
rest of us Canadians.
You know what would be nice to see? A
Canadian journalist really start to dig into this story and ask these
companies why they did not go to places of high unemployment in
Canada to recruit workers, but instead, chose to raid every third
world banana republic that spans the globe. Now that's a story I
would even pay to read.