While Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program has been plagued with controversy, there is another much lesser-known program offering foreign workers express entry into Canada.
The Canadian public has likely not heard a lot about the International Experience Canada program, despite the fact that it operates with even less government oversight and regulation than the contentious Temporary Foreign Worker program.
The program allows employers to import workers from countries like France, Ireland and the UK, without first obtaining a labour market opinion – the government’s validation that a particular worker’s skills are in-demand in Canada. IEC also offers no minimum wage requirements.
In exchange, Canadians are able to work abroad in over 30 participating countries.
Worker advocates are concerned about the implications of an unregulated program importing workers, who may be unskilled and could end up driving down wages for Canadians or other foreign workers. It is particularly disconcerting, says Liberal Immigration critic John McCallum, to have this program up and running while the Temporary Foreign Worker program remains suspended due to abuse.
“It sounds like such a wholesome thing on the government’s website — people coming to discover Canada and Canadians going abroad to do the same,” said McCallum. “But this is a huge concern because it seems to totally subvert what they’re trying to do with temporary foreign workers. The government appears to be actively encouraging companies to participate in a program that doesn’t even require labour market opinions.”
A government spokesperson, however, says that the program does not impede Canadian employment, and that the government is currently reviewing both programs to see how they can improve the situation for both workers and employers.
Source: CTV News