Liberals propose five-point plan to fix temporary foreign worker program
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, May 5, 2014 4:47AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 5, 2014 12:58PM EDT
OTTAWA -- The Liberals are proposing a series of fixes to Ottawa's troubled temporary foreign worker program as fresh allegations of abuse emerge almost daily.
MP John McCallum, the party's immigration critic, proposes five reforms to the program that focus partly on better monitoring of employers who apply to bring in foreigners.
He adds that the government should scale the program back and focus on its original purpose -- to fill labour shortages when there is a legitimate need.
In recent weeks, a spate of allegations suggests some companies are turning to the program in sectors and regions of the country where there are no labour shortages.
Helicopter pilots, waitresses and mall workers are among those who have stepped forward to complain.
Employment Minister Jason Kenney has pledged to lower the boom on those abusing the program and has already banned restaurants from applying for temporary foreign workers.
New rule changes are expected soon, including beefing up the auditing powers of federal inspectors.
McCallum points out that between 2005 and 2012, the number of temporary foreign workers in Canada more than doubled.
He wants the government to tighten the so-called labour market opinion process. Employers must apply for a positive labour market opinion if they want to hire a foreigner on a temporary basis.
McCallum also repeated his demand for a review by the auditor general.