Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Jason Kenney and the Great Foreign Workers Scam

OMG. Can you believe that shameless Jason Kenney? First him and his Cons brought in a flood of foreign workers.

Then he claimed there was a skill shortage and there wasn't.

Then it was revealed that he has been pimping for a McDonald's franchise.

And now he's trying to get some political mileage by cracking down on the scam he created. 

The federal government is investigating a possible violation of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which has been a black eye for the governing Conservatives due to a series of abuses. 

The government is investigating allegations that an owner of a McDonald's franchise in Victoria broke the rules of the program, Employment Minister Jason Kenney said in a statement Sunday.

While no doubt trying to dodge questions about why the Cons made it so easy for so many businesses to hire them?

The program has also been criticized because some companies looking to reduce labour costs look to the program as the first option in hiring, rather than the last.

Why they created the program in the first place when so many Canadians were unemployed?

Some estimates suggest the number of temporary workers in Canada doubled in seven years to about 340,000 as of December 2012. The biggest growth came in the years following the 2008-09 recession, when hundreds of thousands of Canadians were out of work.

And why so many of the foreign workers are filling so called McJobs? 

The CLC has also crunched the numbers for the first half of 2013, and has found that jobs in accommodation/food services account for about 20% of temporary foreign worker positions. If retail and other service jobs are included, low-wage service jobs made up about a third of all positions. 

So much for the tough talk. How about explaining why McJobs are being outsourced to temporary foreign workers in the first place?

At a time when the unemployment rate for young Canadians is twice the national average, and even those lousy jobs are denied them. 

Tim Turcot is a 21-year-old local resident who said he applied to work there during the same period. He wasn’t hired, despite his four years of restaurant experience. “I don’t know why they didn’t hire me. I told them I am available 24/7 and just never got the job,” said Turcot.

When asked what it was like being shut out of McDonald’s during a time of 14 per cent youth unemployment, he said, “It’s not fun. Why not give us [Canadian applicants] a chance, instead of people who don’t actually live here yet?”

But of course we know the answer to all of the above questions. The Cons have flooded us with foreign workers because they want to drive wages down.

And they don't care about young people because they don't vote for them.

An Elections Canada pilot program aimed at encouraging student voting during the 2015 election could be grounded if the Fair Elections Act passes, students groups fear.

The Huffington Post Canada has learned that Elections Canada met with several student groups last summer to develop new ways to increase voter turnout among young people.

Under the Conservatives’ Fair Elections Act, Bill C-23, however, Elections Canada’s chief electoral officer would no longer have the ability to “implement public education and information programs” to groups such as students.

And the good news?

If we can get the message out that the Cons are stealing their jobs, AND trying to make it harder for them to vote, so they can't help change the situation.

We might get more young Canadians to cast ballots in the next election than we have ever seen before...

Which is why I'm already working on my message eh?

First I'm hitting them with this something like this...

Because they know a loser when they see one.

And then until I can make my own videos, I'm following it up with something that I borrowed from the Quebec election campaign.

The kind of ad that the Cons don't want Elections Canada to make...

With the message all young Canadians must hear.

Your vote is POWER.

And if you wield it wisely, you CAN make a difference.

And we WILL crush the Cons...

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  1. It makes zero sense that the service/banking/technology industry would need to hire temporary foreign workers for relatively unskilled jobs. Heck, it makes zero sense to have the program in the first place, unless we drill down to the truth as you have Simon: the goal is to drive down wages and disenfranchise unions and undermine collective bargaining. With youth unemployment at grossly unacceptable levels, we have a very serious economic black hole just around the corner and unless we stop undermining opportunity, the gap may widen beyond repair.

    1. hi bcwaterboy...I know some of my friends are having a hard time surviving, especially those who work in the retail sector where conditions are simply abominable. Low pay, no guaranteed hours, and of course low wages and no benefits. And to see our Canadian youth despairing and hopeless because they can't even get a job at a place like McDonald's makes me really angry. Those Cons should not be allowed to get away with something like that, because as you point out there will be serious consequences down the road...

  2. Anonymous9:37 AM

    There's no doubt that job prospects for youth is dismal at best. The students who've worked for me in the past and have since graduated are begging to come back because there simply is no work for them or they get offered an internship which corporations are using for the free labour. The Harper government has failed them miserably, all in the name of corporate profit. These students know why this happening, and they are involved and spreading the word to get out and vote in 2015 to rid us of Harper and his army of Orks.

    1. hi anon...as I just told bcwaterboy, I too am familiar with the struggle of young people who are being treated very badly, and are being exploited by those who should no better. But as you point out, and I said in my post, I see all of this as an opportunity to encourage them to vote. And polls do show that if they do vote in sufficient numbers they can make a difference, and help drive the Cons from power. I have always tried to do that with this blog, and the way I write and present my material, and I'm going to work harder than ever in the next election campaign...

  3. e.a.f.12:52 PM

    Jason's new suit is wonderful, his coat of many colours

    No surprise about the victoria macdonalds. Denny's was hauled into court regarding the violation of workers' rights a decade ago. the workers won. Denny's wanted cheap foreign labour which could not complain about work site abuses. They got their temp foreign workers and B.C. started its climb to becoming the best at having the highest rate of child poverty in Canada. B.C. has had the title for 9 out of the last 10 yrs. Kids can't even help their families bring in more money because the companies prefer to hire "temp. foreign workers".

    When B.C., el gordo, was busy having the Sky Train system built, they hired loads of "temporary foreign workers" to do all the tile work. Not B.C. workers, eastern Europe, Mexico, Central America. Even with a min. wage, at the time of $8 an hr. some of the workers from Central America were being paid $5 per hr.

    There is no need for a temp. foreign worker program. Simply hire Canadians and train Canadians. You'd be surprised at what a reduction in child poverty you have when parents have jobs which pay a "living wage".

    Jason is simply looking for media attention prior to making a run at oil can's job. What I'd really like to know WHO IS PAYING FOR JASON'S TRAVEL?

    1. hi e.a.f.... I'm glad you like Jason's new pimp suit. I have another one that is completely purple but I'm saving that for a special occasion. ;) Although I should add he should be purple with shame for trying to get credit for a problem he created. Our young people are being made to feel worthless or useless in their own country, and it's simply outrageous. We need to set-up training centres, or apprentice programs like they have in Germany, if we are ever going to bring down their high unemployment rate. Too many people think that they can handle it because they are young. But chronic unemployment can damage them greatly and destroy our future as well...

  4. http://sistersagesmusings.ca/2014/03/29/jason-kenney-gets-his-job-data-from-kijiji-myths-regarding-labour-skills-shortages-debunked/

    My post where I pretty much itemized and debunked every Con talking point regarding so-called skills shortage, labour shortage, and job creation.

    Did Jason Kenney steal that suit from Don Cherry? I love your cartoon!

    1. hi CK...yes like just about everything the Cons say, that skill shortage as you point out , was just another Big Lie. Kenney now seems to be backing down a bit from that lie, but why did he lie for so long, and what on earth are all those foreign workers doing stealing jobs that should be going to our young people. It's extremely depressing. However I am glad you like Jason's new suit. In the winter it warns us he's coming, and in summer it attracts swarms of bees.... ;)

  5. Anonymous1:35 PM

    And would those foreign workers be temporary....Harry Bloy
    April 8/2014

    Foreign governments paid for mla's international trips
    Dec 20/2010

    Petro-China puts in bid, to build the Enbridge pipeline
    May 29/2010

    That is only the tip of the iceberg. Harper and the BC Liberals stench of corruption is so foul, it makes decent people gag.

    1. hi anon...yes I have another chart that I didn't have space to use. But it shows the incredible growth of the number of foreign workers that have flooded into Canada. I hope to use it in my attack ads, because just one glance tells you the problem, and the Cons, are out of control...

  6. Jason Kenney is just serving french fries in the big picture. The real story is how did all he get a job at all?

    1. hi Steve...actually I'm afraid Jason only gets to work the cash, because knowing his lusty appetite we can't trust him in the kitchen or at the counter...;)

  7. John B.7:11 PM

    Jason Kenney was the architect of the faults in this structure while serving as Immigration Minister. Now he has fashioned himself as a type of √úberminister of Everything-He-Wants-To-Be-Minister-Of, Employment and Social Development, in order to oversee the outcomes of his past ministrations through subordinate flunkies such as Leitch, Alexander and a few others. The opposition and the public should be calling Jason to account on all of the abuses and manipulations that have taken place under the TFW programs since the CRAP Party took office, instead of allowing him to portray himself as the efficient manager who is setting himself to the task of rectifying the problem. The McDonalds labour procurement program is just the tip of the iceberg. And, unless Jason is a complete idiot, he knows it.

    Companies are building it into their human resources planning. Transnational labour mobility consultants and firms that identify themselves as “Temporary Foreign Worker Specialists” are soliciting potential clients and advising them on methods of abusing the process. And it’s all about wage suppression, glutting labour pools and accessing a more dependent, subservient and “flexible” workforce. The hotel and restaurant businesses and associations are among the worst offenders. They don’t want to pay the price that the market sets for labour and now that they have learned to exploit the benefits of the TFW programs, they are screaming that they can’t live without them. When Jason announced his phoney crackdown last year, a well-known national business lobby immediately initiated a propaganda project whereby stories were planted in the press claiming that all sorts of Canadian job losses had either taken place, or were about to take place, because of restrictions being placed on the TFWP.

    Harper, Jason Kenney and their subordinate CRAP Party stooges aren’t going to do anything to correct the abuses; they’ll just advise the delinquent parties on how to address the letter of the regulations while skipping and diving through both the loopholes that are already there and the ones they are now no doubt devising for future application. Just recall how the Harper regime mobilized federal government resources last year to confound the legitimate efforts of a couple of labour unions to redress the abuses to the TFWP that were taking place on the Murray River project. At that time, during a Question Period, Jason characterized the situation as whining by unions. The public should understand that Jason Kenney isn’t going to straighten out anything.

    1. e.a.f.1:18 AM

      John, great response. Trust you will be sending it out as a letter to the editor.

    2. hi John...excellent comment. You're absolutely rift, Jason Kenney is actually trying to position himself as Mr Fix-it when he is responsible for creating the problem. You should see how many messages and statements he is putting out on the McDonald's story, when that situation is just a drop in the bucket compared to the massive size of the problem. As for the Canadian businesses who have gone bananas taking advantage of the program they should be ashamed of themselves for betraying their own people.
      In fact, I would like to see a campaign to expose them and shame them publicly. The government shouldn't get away with it and neither should they. I'm not xenophobic, and I realize the foreign workers are also exploited, but let's put Canadians FIRST...

    3. If the government wants additional workers, fine. Let them come as landed immigrants. This business of "temporary workers" isn't just unfair to Canadians who could be doing the jobs, it is unfair to the "temporary foreign workers". They leave their homes, families and come to Canada where they are subjected to working conditions Canadians won't tolerate and in some cases the working conditions are down right illegal. This isn't just unfair to Canadians. It is unfair to the "temporary foreign workers".

  8. Jim Flaherty said there are no bad jobs. I guess he meant "even the bad jobs are not available to you".

    1. hi unknown...yeah that was a Jimbo classic wasn't it. As he wanders off with two pensions under his belt, and heads off to his new million dollar job. They are Cons, they are incompetent and they are shameless...

  9. I would LOVE to know what Kenney is smoking. I can only speak for my trade of course, but I know that in my region of Alberta there most definitely is NOT a shortage of labour. Matter of fact, I know plenty of guys that have made the long trip down to Edmonton or even Calgary to complete schooling for their apprenticeships.