Canadian Academic proposes reform in the country’s immigration rules

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Professor David Green of the University of British Columbia has called for an end of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). He proposed that more permanent residences should be given to international workers instead. According to Green, there are significant disadvantages that employees have the right to work only with one employer because in this way they might be forced to accept lower wages, which on its turn will bring the average wages on the market down as well.

Over the last year, there have been several high profile cases of alleged abuse of the TFWP in which Canadian companies are said to have laid off Canadian staff and employed cheaper temporary foreign workers instead. This is an abuse of the system. The current employment minister of Canada and former immigration minister Jason Kenney has promised that he will try to crack down the abuse of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Many experts, however, believe that Canada must change its immigration rules instead of trying to police a temporary visa program which easily let itself be abused. Low skilled foreign workers could, for example, be given permanent right to reside in Canada and in this way they will be able to compete with Canadian nationals for jobs.

This will surely prevent employers from paying unrealistically low wages to their foreign workers with temporary visas. The TFWP visa scheme, which started in 1973, has been much more widely used in recent years. Canadian government statistics from 2013 showed that there were more than 300,000 temporary foreign workers in Canada.

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