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Immigration minister won’t confirm plan to have unemployed take jobs now done by foreign labourers

posted Apr 21, 2012, 11:50 PM by Milorad Borota   [ updated Apr 22, 2012, 12:01 AM ]
April 19, 2012 - 9:15pm By SELENA ROSS

If you’re on employment insurance, start paying attention to temporary foreign labourers in your community. You might be asked to take over their jobs in the not-too-distant future.

In his visit to Halifax on Thursday, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney stopped short of making what’s sure to be a controversial announcement. On Wednesday, he had told the National Post’s editorial board that Canada’s EI program will be tied to its immigration program.

Unemployed Canadians will be “required” to take local jobs that employers are now filling with foreign labour, the newspaper said.

In Halifax, Kenney did not confirm that workers will be forced to work those jobs or lose their benefits, despite repeated questions from reporters wondering if laid-off professionals will be driven to work as fruit pickers or in low-paying service jobs.

Kenney described the program more as a communication effort linking open jobs with unemployed Canadians. Employers applying for immigrant labour will be turned back to their own communities and told to offer the jobs there first.

But the minister said he’s leaving the details of the announcement to Human Resources Minister Diane Finley.

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See also:

EI recipients may be forced to accept jobs filled by temporary foreign workers
Postmedia News April 19, 2012 Victoria Times Colonist