Sunday, August 25, 2013

Canada does NOT need an influx of foreign workers

Since I posted this a week ago there's been hundreds of looks, primarily from around the Gulf, presumably by folks who are working in the oil industry and figure Canada might be a good gig.

Sorry you didn't read past the first paragraph, but my point was that Canada does not need foreign workers. Until such time as Canada has a job for everyone who wants to work, the government of Canada needs to focus on training Canadians rather than importing workers.

Canada's open-arms policy around foreign workers at a time when 1.5 million Canadians are unemployed is scandalous to say the least.

Contrast Chile's policy on foreign workers to Canada's. Chile's economy is growing more than twice the rate of Canada's. The unemployment rate in Chile is less than in Canada. One would therefore conclude that Chile must be even more reliant on foreign workers than Canada, at least if the standard argument of "worker shortage" holds any water.

Instead, we see that in 2011 some 41,000 foreign workers entered Chile. While Canada has twice the population, it allowed almost five times the number of foreign workers in the same year.

Canada is an outlier to the foreign worker norms that prevail in the rest of the OECD.

The imaginary hurdle seems to be that Canada is tapped out and therefore cannot afford to invest in her people. This is an absolute fiction.

Before the Harper gang "reformed" unemployment insurance in 2008, the program had an accumulated surplus of some $54 billion.

That was money generated by workers and their employers for the benefit of workers when they became unemployed. Retraining would seem to be a perfect way to reinvest that money in the workforce.

So was that $54 billion spent on training workers?

Of course not. The $54 billion was legislated out of the old UI program and into general revenues. It was in effect a $54 billion totally legal theft from Canadian workers.

While stealing the workers' money, the Harperites simultaneously boosted the bar for qualifying workers, to the point that today most people who pay into the program will never quality to benefit from it.

So to all you guys in Saudi and Qatar who are working in oil projects, I apologize that you got the impression that you are needed in Canada.

Nothing personal, but I think it's up to our government to put the interests of unemployed Canadians ahead of your interests.

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