The Conservative government is coming under fire for recent proposals to change the Temporary Foreign Worker program, particularly in regards to lowering the wage requirements.
As part of a slew of immigration reforms announced over the past several months, the Conservatives have included changes that will speed up the process of bringing foreign workers into the country and allow them to be paid less than the average Canadian wage for that job.
The proposals have been welcome for certain provinces such as Alberta, where employers are straining to find the workers needed to fill numerous positions, especially in the skilled trades which are facing massive labour shortages across the country.
However, critics are concerned over the repercussions of such a move in that they could cause an overall drop in wages. This would hurt the already ailing building sector, as low wages will attract less young people into the trade and deter qualified labor from relocating to better job markets.
“If demand for skilled workers rises, then wages should rise in order to allocate the existing skills to the place they’re needed most,” says B.C. economics professor David A. Green in a recent article for the Globe and Mail.
Green argues that the market, if left on its own, will work to solve the crisis, attracting more workers where they are needed, rather than forcing the end of major business projects. It would seem to go against a Conservative government to move in the opposite direction, but that is where such policies are headed.
Source: Globe and Mail