Streamline the rules for those who obey them

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Most aspects of the Conservative government's latest overhaul of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are to be applauded.

But for some users of the program — the ones who play by the rules — the latest reforms will make things needlessly difficult.

I refer not only to the new fees

but also to the complex application process, with its attendant delays in the all-too-common situation where skilled workers are needed quickly.

These effectively penalize responsible employers by forcing them to cover the costs of increased enforcement. This increased enforcement has been brought on by those who break the rules.

Why should those who did not cause this problem now have to pay for it?

Let me emphasize: I am not referring to fast-food outlets when I refer to the users who play by the rules.

I refer to companies and unions, like our own, that use the program to plug temporary gaps in the availability of skilled workers.

Without temporary foreign workers to keep projects moving forward in these situations, our own members and other Canadians would lose jobs.

This is what the Temporary Foreign Workes Program was supposed to prevent.

There is no question of exploitation in our program: workers get the same wages and benefits as do our Canadian members, and their rent and transportation paid for.

They pay no commissions or other hidden charges to unscrupulous labour brokers.

The chronic mismatch of labour supply and demand is a systemic problem that should be addressed proactively and collaboratively by governments, unions and employers.

What we would like to see is streamlining the rules for those who play by them.

Joseph Maloney

International vice-president

International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Edmonton

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Recent comments

  • Underpopulated...with robots.
    June 25, 2014 - 07:59

    We are underpopulated. Save the applause for immigration reforms. If a human being can join a union and pay taxes, why not go whole hog and grant them citizenship, and take all the pressure off of this TFW program, unions and employers? Oh yeah, housing, food, ....better not, let's just bide pur time and R&D better robots. Politicians don't know how good they all are at AI! Don't let it go to waste. MacKay and John Baird are cyborgs already, study them.

  • Ken Collis
    June 25, 2014 - 04:39

    How about making tuition free as in Poland. Those guys and gals have free trades training available and are working all over the world in good paying jobs. I work with a lot of them overseas. Every one in Poland has access to free education and they also have schools where they can pay to get in.