I have long maintained that Saskatchewan's "boom" is one that has been artificially manufactured, due to the deliberate abuse and misuse of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program. I want to extend my sincerest gratitude to the CBC Go Public Team for bringing this issue to the national spotlight.
First off, I truly commend the Federal Government for initiating the TFW program years ago, in an attempt to truly help with the need in certain labour markets for immediate "temporary" essential help, which could be found nowhere else. This helped many businesses in a time of desperation, in order to allow them to continue operations without much of a hiccup.
But, then, some greedy fascist corporate giants (some like to think of them as capitalists, but they are far from that) found out just how amazing this program can be, and how it could be manipulated in a manner that one could only dream of.
Wise Words from the late, great Mr. Tommy Douglas:
The Temporary Foreign Workers program allowed employers to basically get a non-stop stream of dedicated, hard working staff, at a very minimal cost to their bottom line, while being allowed to virtually enslave these workers for a minimum of two years, with little to no complaining from the workers. This allowed the employers to basically have paid slaves that couldn't talk back, couldn't question authority, or dare to speak out about the working conditions, because if they did, well, they'd be threatened to be "shipped back" home.
Add to that, the fact that the workers were being promised a life that they could only dream of back home, typically the Phillipines, with a fraction of the work hours of back home, and a wage (even at near minimum wage) that was light years ahead of what they could get at home. They were promised the opportunity to travel back home to visit family, and send as much money back home as they'd like. After two years of being enslaved to whatever corporation brought them over, they were then "allowed" to do whatever they wanted, as long as they were granted permanent resident status. They would also then be allowed to move their family to Canada, as they chose. It should be noted that their employment was also tied to the province of original employment, and if they chose to pursue other employment in other provinces during that time, employers made it very difficult to do so. After the two years, however, the TFW's were free to move to anywhere in Canada they chose.
This is a key factor when considering how this impacts Saskatchewan and it's "booming" population.
What everyone needs to keep in mind is that many of these Temporary Foreign Workers in the hospitatlity sector are college graduates, often highly skilled and highly qualified for some other much-needed professions here in Canada. Did the government put them into those professions? Of course not. They gave them the "menial" jobs that no one else would do for the measly $10-12/hour that the corporations were willing to pay. This was not a matter of an actual labour shortage, but more of a shortage of reasonably paid positions offered by employers. Add to that, the fact that many employers received Wage Subsidies from the Government of Saskatchewan to employ these Temporary Foreign Workers, and the already "cheap" labour was even cheaper than you could get Canadians to work for, even at minimum wage. And, contrary to the CFIB's claims that there were no subsidies provided, I personally know for a fact there were, as I was employed in the hospitality industry and I was the person handling the wage subsidy payments as they came in. It is possible these subsidies have since been removed, but that is highly unlikely given the continued intensity of the TFW program within Saskatchewan.
When considering boycotting any businesses, please, please keep this in mind:
THIS IS A PROBLEM OF THE SYSTEM - NOT NECESSARILY INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYERS - AND THE SYSTEM MUST BE CORRECTED BEFORE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE IN ANY FASHION.
Stay Tuned for Part Two!
I will speak to how this may have a severe impact to Saskatchewan's "boom" and how it pertains directly to the next Provincial Election.