Temporary foreign worker program: A short term arrangement or a long term plan?

In a study conducted by C.D. Howe Institute, it has been concluded that the changes in temporary foreign worker program this time, has tried to strike a balance between a short term arrangement and a long term plan.


Though it is said that temporary foreign worker program keeps the workers away from their families.
The system is such that a temporary foreign worker stays in Canada alone and their children and spouses stay far away in their home countries.

The study says that there is an urgent need to evaluate if the program in place for years, is only meeting the immediate labor shortage of the country or it actually protects the rights of foreign workers. Their rights can be protected by coming up with long term measures which would be possible only if they get to stay with their spouse and children.

And hence there is a need of uniting the temporary workers dons their families in Canada itself.

Growth in numbers

When you look at the numbers you will realize that more than 200,000 temporary workers came to Canada only in the year 2012. The program brought 100,000 workers in 2002.

As because the system is a temporary one, hence the family can come only when the worker becomes a permanent resident of the country. In the process families find it even more difficult to get integrated with the culture of Canada.

Away from families
There are temporary foreign workers who have been working in hotels and various other industries and are away from their families for as long as 6 years or even more. They are burdened with a high debt which has come on their head through the recruiter whom they owe to pay back.
The clock ticks on such people and keeps them alarmed to think that they have to support their families way back home and have to clear the debt of the recruiter who brought them here.

Workers caught in cross fire
The situation gets worse when you understand that there is a cross fire between he Government and the employers. The government has observed a few cases when the system has been abused and a vacancy is either not advertised or a foreign worker is hired without giving a chance to a Canadian. Therefore, a set of changes have been introduced. Employers would not be able to hire foreign workers as easily as they did before. Workers are caught in this crossfire and feel helpless.

Temporary Foreign Worker program was designed with the aim of filling up labor shortages faster than one could. The need of such a program was felt when employers had to live with vacancies without getting a suitable worker from Canada itself. However, with time the purpose got mixed up and employers were found to be abusing the program. Thereafter changes have been introduced to tighten noose upon unruly employers but the effect is being seen on the workers who have to compromise with their family lives.

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