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Alberta Politics: Albertans hear the same old same old as fast-food restaurant owners grow hysterical over minimum wage

PHOTOS: Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray, who is sticking to her guns on the provincial government’s plans to raise the provincial minimum wage to $15 by 2018. Below: Notable fair wage campaigners, Joe Ceci, finance minister of Alberta; Frankli… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Albertans hear the same old same old as fast-food restaurant owners grow hysterical over minimum wage

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Why Thomas Mulcair Should Distance Himself From the CFIB and Why he Won’t

Recently, Justin Trudeau has come under fire for remarks he made suggesting that some small business owners used their concerns to avoid paying taxes.  He did not suggest all, but that didn’t stop the media and his opposition from jumping on the bandwagon.

However, leading the charge is a group called the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.  (Former president shown above with NDP members, including Brian Topp).

However, in 2011, David Climenhaga exposed this group for what they really are: Why does the so-called Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses push a far-right agenda that benefits the country’s richest corporations (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Canada’s anti-union lobby is at the heart of the deceptive campaign for more Temporary Foreign Workers – why’s that, d’ya think?

Canadians need not apply? Actual Canadian store displays may not appear exactly as illustrated. But the intent of the AstroTurf TFW lobby is to bust unions and weaken the bargaining power of Canadian workers. Below: Employment Minister and former Canadian Taxpayers Federation operative Jason Kenney; former Canadian Federation of Independent Business president and current “Working Canadians” spokesperson Catherine Swift; and CTF board member and Canadian Labour Watch Association President John Mortimer.

Judging from what they read and hear in the news, Canadians can be forgiven for concluding a large number of organizations representing a broad range of opinions are lobbying (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: Temporary Foreign Worker Program- “lifted the suspension of previously approved LMOs and introduced a new program regime.”

June 20, 2014. Dear Business Owner, Subject: Reconfirmation of previously suspended labour market opinions(s)- System file number(s): 8059947 On May 1, 2014, a letter was sent informing you of the […]

Alberta Diary: Brent Rathgeber may not a be a Tory any more, but he still supports the Harper Government’s worst ideas

Edmonton-St. Albert MP Brent Rathgeber getting scrummed by the media in his St. Albert office the day after he resigned from the Conservative Parliamentary Caucus. (Photo grabbed from Mr. Rathgeber’s website.) Below: Mr. Rathgeber looking at the camera.

ST. ALBERT, Alberta

Notwithstanding his much-publicized break with the Harper Conservatives, Independent Edmonton-St. Albert Member of Parliament Brent Rathgeber continues to rhapsodize enthusiastically about the alleged benefits of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in the local press and his Parliamentary blog.

This is just another hard-right Harper Government policy that Mr. Rathgeber, his book contract and the fawning attention of the (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Underdog Liberal has a shot in Fort McMurray-Athabasca by-election

TweetFour federal by-elections will be held across Canada on June 30, 2014, including in Alberta’s Macleod and Fort McMurray-Athabasca ridings made vacant by the retirements of Conservative Members of Parliament Ted Menzies and Brian Jean months ago. While most general elections in Alberta can be counted on to result in broad Conservative sweeps, Albertans have shown themselves to be […]

Left Over: Canada’s Burger King Kenney Doubles Down

It’s even creepier than you know, Simon..yesterday, our NDP politicians here in BC were speaking to the media after a meeting with the Victoria, BC TFWs that will “not be getting their work permits renewed or be able to apply for permanent status” now that their Golden Arches jobs will be over as soon as their current permits expire. Not only have they been working at these low-paying jobs, but they were obviously lied to about gaining status as immigrants, and so far it has been shown that their permits were simply rubber-stamped, (Read more…)

ParliamANT Hill: Mickey D’s Cantada CEO calls foreign worker controversy ‘bullshit’

Inspired by this headline:

The Progressive Economics Forum: More Evidence that Temporary Foreign Worker Program Takes Jobs Away from Canadians

Yet another report, this time by SFU Public Policy Professor Dominique M. Gross, finds evidence that Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program is bad for domestic workers. The report looks at BC and Alberta specifically and concludes that the expansion of the TFW program between 2007 and 2010 resulted in an increase in unemployment levels by 4.8 percentage points in BC and 3.1 percentage points in Alberta. You can read the full report here or see Tara Carman’s article about it in the Vancouver Sun here.

This report confirms what I found in my recent CCPA report, BC Jobs (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: How to ABUSE Canadian Citizenship: Blame Temporary Foreign Workers for problems of a global Capitalist Economy

How to ABUSE Canadian Citizenship: Blame Temporary Foreign Workers for problems of a global Capitalist Economy: Once again, the media uses the wrong gaze to look at a program that does […]

Political Eh-conomy: The Temporary Foreign Worker Program and labour solidarity

Yesterday, I took a look at the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and how it helps enforce labour discipline on all workers, and low-wage workers in particular. Today, I want to explore the migration side of the migrant worker equation. The context of migration not only makes it easier for employers to exploit TFWs, it also serves to obscure the common core of labour solidarity that should be at the basis of responses to the greater labour discipline that the TFWP enables.

The expansion of the TFWP and its increasing application to low-wage work has occurred alongside other changes (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: The Temporary Foreign Workers Program and labour market discipline

While it is a truism that migrant labour built Canada, this same migrant labour has long been used to discipline domestic workers. Both facts are imprinted into the history of Canada. Today is no different and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is at the centre of debates about migrant labour. Often missing from the debate are the deep links between labour policy, (im)migration policy and the ways these interact to undermine the power and solidarity of workers.

The TFWP has become a lightning rod of criticism as details emerge of the private sector hiring temporary foreign workers (TFWs) for (Read more…)

Northern Reflections: Making The World Safe For Capital

Complaints about the Temporary Foreign Workers Program keep piling up. This morning the Vancouver Sun reports:

B.C. workers ranging from seasoned professionals to teenage fast-food employees are complaining about being dumped in favour of non-residents as Ottawa scrutinizes employers who abuse the Temporary Foreign Worker program.

Vern Doak is a crane operator with 37 years experience who lives in Vernon. In early March he was contacted by his union, who informed him that an American company, Oregon-based O & S Contracting, had work for him building a cogeneration plant near Mackenzie in north-central B.C.

The program, Carol (Read more…)

ParliamANT Hill: McD’Antald’s foreign worker practices face growing investigation

Inspired by this headline:

ParliamANT Hill: Temporary ForAnt Workers have better work ethic, some employers believe

Inspired by this headline:

Alberta Diary: Criminal employers are employers too, Alberta government spokesman says, but illegal strikes are still illegal

If feeding your employees to lions is outlawed, then only outlaws would be able to feed their employees to lions! Or is that the other way around? Whatever. In Alberta, we don’t think it would be fair to criminal employers either way. We also don’t think it’s fair not to let Temporary Foreign Workers be fed to lions when Alberta workers like the AUPE member pictured above can be. We’re #BuildingAlberta and, thanks to us, now Stephen Harper is #BuildingCanada too! Isn’t it great? Photo grabbed from the Internet.

Speaking out in defence of the Harper Government, a defiant spokesperson (Read more…)

ParliamANT Hill: Temporary ForeigAnt Worker Program changes now in effect

Inspired by this headline:

Alberta Diary: Message to Gary Doer: Now might be a good time to place a call to Ottawa, before you have to cross a picket line!

Canadian diplomats, as seen in the public’s imagination and doubtless as they will soon be portrayed by the Harper Government. Actual Canadian diplomats abroad do not appear quite as illustrated, even when dressed casually for picket line duty. Below: Gary Doer, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States; Treasury Board President Tony Clement.

The working stiffs of Canadian diplomacy, members of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers, were walking a picket line in Washington, D.C., yesterday – which raised some eyebrows in the Imperial Capital and must have created some minor discomfort for the Canadian ambassador, a (Read more…)

Northern Reflections: One May Smile And Smile

Tom Walkom writes that no one should be taken in by the cosmetic changes to the Temporary Workers program, which Jason Kinney announced two days ago:

The backpedaling Monday by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney underscores a bitter truth about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government. It has been forced to retreat marginally from its long-running campaign to push down wages in Canada. But it hasn’t given up the war. Kenney’s tactical retreat was announced with much fanfare. As cameras clicked, the minister announced numerous changes to Ottawa’s temporary foreign workers program. Yet only one is significant. That’s the government’s decision (Read more…)

Northern Reflections: Twisted Priorities

The Harper government is a nasty piece of work. Its twisted priorities now permeate the Canadian economy. Those priorities are best illustrated by the temporary foreign workers program. Originally established in boom times to help alleviate labour shortages, the Harperites have used the program to cudgel Canadian workers. Haroon Siddiqui writes in the Toronto Star:

Under Stephen Harper’s watch, temporary foreign workers have tripled, from 140,000 to 338,000. The total may be more like 500,000, if you add those who may have gone underground at the end of their temporary visas, plus the refugee claimants and foreign students who (Read more…)

Random Ranting Raving and Ratings: The Trouble with Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Many feel bad for the Royal Bank Employees being replaced by temporary foreign workers however they are only the latest example of what is wrong with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Canada.

Canada’s Foreign worker program has been criticized greatly by the NDP for its… ..

ParliamANT Hill: The Art of Distraction

Inspired by these stories:

The Canadian Progressive: At Chinese-owned B.C. mine, no Canadian hires for four years

by BC Federation of Labour “It’s clear HD Mining is in no hurry to hire Canadians and that the province of BC and Government of Canada have been complicit all along.” Documents released today show HD Mining planned to use exclusively underpaid Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW’s) underground for 4.5 years after the commencement of construction, READ MORE

Canadian ProgressiveCanadian Progressive: Canada’s Laws Fuel Migrant Worker Exploitation: Report

by Metcalf Foundation Canada’s reliance on low-wage migrant workers with temporary immigration status is growing but our laws make them vulnerable to abuse, says a new report published by the Metcalf Foundation. Made in Canada: How the Law Constructs… . . . → Read More: Canadian ProgressiveCanadian Progressive: Canada’s Laws Fuel Migrant Worker Exploitation: Report