Among the myriad of recently announced changes to various immigration programs, much of the praise has circled the new rules for Temporary Foreign Worker Program which will allow applications to be processed within days.
The Canadian government has announced that employers applying for temporary work permits will have an answer within 10 days, a dramatically quicker turnover than the previous estimated 12 to 14 weeks.
Employers are also, no doubt, pleased by the new stipulation that they no longer have to pay temporary workers the average wage earned by Canadian workers, but instead can pay them up to 15 percent less than that figure.
Provinces such as Alberta, which brings in about 13percent of Canada’s temporary workers, are praising the new regulations, though they still are concerned over the lack of provincial jurisdiction on immigration procedures and want the caps lifted off of the Provincial Nominee Program. Many of Alberta’s PNP nominations are brought in under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
On the other hand, some worker advocates are concerned over the new rules – particularly the wage decrease. They worry that the decrease will drive down the average wage all around, as Canadian labour will end up directly competing with foreign labour.
If the average wages in Alberta decrease, not only will the residents have to settle for lower salaries, but less skilled workers from across the country will be attracted to Alberta for the large wages offered. This could slow down economic growth in the long run.
“They’re trying to drive down salaries and wages and frankly I don’t think that’s the job of our government to take one side, that being business, and find them ways of making money off the backs of citizens of the country by allowing them to drive wages down,” said Nancy Furlong with the Alberta Federation of Labour. “I just think that’s just wrong, totally wrong.”
Source: Globe and Mail