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Does temporary foreign workers program create second class of labourers?

posted May 21, 2012, 3:03 PM by Milorad Borota   [ updated May 21, 2012, 3:03 PM ]
NATHAN VANDERKLIPPE
CALGARY— From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, May. 06, 2012 10:47PM EDT
Last updated Wednesday, May. 09, 2012 10:45PM EDT

Five years of dealing with temporary foreign workers affected Yessy Byl in a way she did not expect. There were the stories, from the more than 1,000 people she spoke with in her job as a labour advocate, of neglect and mistreatment – overtime not paid, commitments not honoured, hefty “hiring fees” deducted from weekly cheques. And yet many of them wouldn’t make a formal complaint for fear they’d be fired just for speaking out.

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Canada needs people

There is little question that Canada needs people. Virtually every sector of the economy is forecasting shortages: The information, communications and technology industry needs 106,000 people in the next five years. Mining needs 112,000 by 2021. Construction needs 319,000 by 2020. Alberta, with a population of 3.8 million, forecasts a need for 607,000 new workers in the next decade, and expects to fall 114,000 short.


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