Tuesday, March 25, 2014

More doubts cast on Canada's imaginary "worker shortage"

This time it's the Parliamentary Budget Office throwing cold water on the Harper governments' contention that Canada is in the throes of a major skilled worker shortage.

In fact, the PBO's Mostafa Askari pretty much confirms what we've been saying all along; the "skilled worker shortage" is political flim-flam designed to cover up the fact that the Harper government has been waging all-out war on Canadian workers.

The government has pointed to the so-called skills mismatch to justify measures like the foreign temporary workers program, stricter unemployment insurance eligibility rules and the Canada Jobs Grant, which has been unpopular with the provinces.

The PBO report points out that a genuine labour shortage would result in upward pressure on wages. Instead, wages in most fields have been stagnant, and the addition of hundreds of thousands of "Temporary Foreign Workers" has in fact put considerable downward pressure on the wages of many Canadian workers.

The only point on which the think tank here at Falling Downs would disagree with Mr. Askari is over his "surprise" at the government's use of statistics to justify their conclusions that there has been a labour shortage.

It's all politics. The Conservative Party represents business, not workers. Of course the business community would like to see downward pressure on wages; of course they'd like to flood the country with foreign workers undercutting Canadian wages; of course they'd love to use any excuse to cut back unemployment benefits...

How is any of this a surprise?

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