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Temporary worker program lacks dignity, but Harper’s fix hurts Calgary, says Nenshi|Video

Fecha

2014-07-22

Autores

Jason Markusoff

Titular

The Calgary Herald

Texto completo

Mayor Naheed Nenshi is ripping both the temporary foreign worker program and the Harper government’s changes to it, because he feels a growing Calgary needs more access to working newcomers who can become citizens.

The mayor said the “current system strips people of their dignity.” But in comments that mirror Alberta government officials’ protests that Ottawa’s recently announced restrictions on hiring temporary labourers — especially in low-paying jobs — will hurt the city that added a record 38,508 this year.

“I think that the changes that have been announced by the federal government are not particularly responsive to the needs of Alberta in general and Calgary in particular,” Nenshi told reporters Tuesday during the annual civic census release.

“We need migration in order for our system to work.”

Calgary’s mayor, whose parents immigrated from Tanzania in the 1970s, didn’t lay out his own solutions to the temporary foreign worker program. But he said the status quo is unfair to people working at Tim Hortons and in other service jobs.

“To treat people like commodities that come here for two years and serve us our coffee in the mornings, I don’t think is a particularly Canadian attribute,” Nenshi said.

“And I think we have to figure out ways to let people in and give them a path to citizenship and continue to live dignified lives, regardless of the job they do.”

Employment Minister Jason Kenney has argued that several businesses are overusing the temporary worker program in a way that distorts the labour market and keeps wages down.

Companies will still be able to hire low-wage workers in parts of Alberta with low unemployment, but they can only total one-tenth of a firm’s staff.

Alberta’s government has said the changes, announced in June, will hamper an economy already facing labour shortages. Alberta’s three Progressive Conservative leadership candidates have also criticized the federal reforms.

More to come . . .

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Conexiones

Los sectores económicos

General relevance - all sectors

Tipos de contenido

Policy analysis y Current Policy

Los grupos destinatarios

Legisladores y Conciencia Pública

Relevancia geográfica

Alberta y Federal

Esferas de la actividad

Ciencias Políticas

Idiomas

Inglés