Temporary Foreign Worker Program In Alberta Is Out Of Control

18 Aug 2010


Temporary Foreign worker program is actually designed to help employers find workers. Many people come to work in hotels and restaurants etc and eventually bring their families here. When the workers face problems like illness or laid off, they go underground and live as illegal immigrants. Also, lot of recruiters and middlemen profit from the trade in workers.

Alberta has seen the biggest jump in the number of temporary foreign workers over the past five years. In December, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Ontario had 95,000 short term workers, British Columbia had 69,000 and Quebec had just 31,000.

Thomas Lukaszuk, Province’s employment and immigration minister acknowledged that the temporary foreign worker program needs to be tightened up as quickly as possible.

 “In my opinion, it was a program that had fulfilled its mandate, (by) suddenly providing a large number of workers to an economy that suddenly had a massive shortage of workers . . . but it’s not working well now,” he said before announcing public hearings into the program scheduled to be held around the province this fall and chaired by Calgary MLA Teresa Woo Paw. Her findings will be the basis for recommendations to Ottawa on how to change the program.

“Why not consider some permanency (for) this workforce. I always joke the only group that really benefits from the current Temporary Foreign Worker program is Air Canada, because they’re flying people in and out,” Lukaszuk told the Edmonton Journal.

As the number of employment agencies has risen, so too has the number of investigations by Service Alberta into their practices. Major complaints include prohibited fees, misrepresentation and overcharging for services, and unlicensed agencies.


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