TORONTO, March 5, 2013 /CNW/ - The federal Conservative government is
showing it is not serious about fixing the discredited Temporary
Foreign Worker Program, the United Steelworkers (USW) says.
"It has been four months since the Conservatives promised a review of
the Temporary Foreign Worker Program due to public outrage over abuses
associated with the program," said USW Canadian Director Ken Neumann.
"It is becoming increasingly clear that the Conservatives' promise was
little more than a cynical attempt at damage control," Neumann said.
"We have seen first-hand that this government has no interest in
meaningful consultation and a full, transparent review of this
The Steelworkers union has publicly exposed major problems with the
federal program, including the Conservatives' consent to the HD Mining
company to hire temporary foreign workers for British Columbia mining
The scandal prompted Human Resources Minister Diane Finley to
acknowledge "problems" with the program and to announce a review last
After seeing no concrete action from the Conservative government for
months, the Steelworkers and other concerned stakeholders received a
short-notice invitation to a "consultation" meeting on Feb. 27 in
Finley and Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney attended
the brief meeting, but "they did not allow meaningful opportunity to
present evidence and submissions on this important issue," said
"We were very disappointed in the way the process worked. It looks to us
like the government wants to say it 'consulted' with unions and others,
without giving stakeholders a real opportunity to be heard," he added.
"We hoped to discuss the very issues that Minister Finley said she was
concerned about in November, including how HD Mining got permission to
hire temporary foreign workers when there are qualified miners out of
work in B.C. who could have been hired," said Neumann. "But their
process did not allow for that.
"We're concerned this so-called review is turning out to be a sham."
Steelworkers and other worker representatives at the meeting said the
government should scrap the existing program and support employers to
hire and train workers within the existing labour market.
"At a time when many young people and aboriginal Canadians are out of
work or are employed in low-skill, low-paying jobs, it is shameful that
this government is allowing employers in Canada to hire foreign workers
under this program," Neumann said.
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada, 416-544-5951
Joe Drexler, USW Strategic Campaigns, 416-544-6009, 416-434 7907, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, email@example.com