VICTORIA— New Democrats are calling on Premier Clark and the B.C. Liberal government to join with business and labour in pushing for the temporary foreign worker program to be replaced with permanent immigration opportunities.
“Business, labour and New Democrats all agree – the temporary foreign worker program needs to be replaced with a road to citizenship for people who come to work in Canada,” said New Democrat labour spokesperson Shane Simpson.
“Unfortunately Premier Clark does not agree, and is instead trying to use the flawed current program as an option for companies to sidestep B.C. workers and instead access cheap labour for LNG development.
“That’s unacceptable. British Columbians need to be first in line for LNG jobs, and if there are not enough British Columbians to fill LNG jobs, we should be to inviting workers from elsewhere to move here permanently and make a life in our province.”
On Dec. 1, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business called for the program to be scrapped, noting that given the cost of turnover, small and mid-sized businesses would much rather hire someone who is permanent, but the current immigration system shuts out workers with more junior skill sets.
“The current temporary foreign worker program ties workers to a single employer, and if they quit their job they have to leave the country, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation,” said Simpson.
“This program is bad for workers, bad for businesses and bad for the province. Workers who are good enough to work here are good enough to stay here. It’s time to give these workers the same opportunities to make a permanent life in Canada that most of our families were given.”