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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 ]
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.


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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