Canadian labour groups call out Jason Kenney 0
Canada's Immigration Minister Jason Kenney (REUTERS)
Federal Minister of Employment and Social Development Jason Kenney’s comments on employing Canadians first are being met with skepticism by labour groups.
Speaking in Calgary Thursday, Kenney said employers needed to consider Canadians first, but didn’t go as far as to say temporary foreign workers should be considered second.
"Canadians, including newcomers, must always be first in line for available jobs. Searching for the best candidate should begin at home," he said. "Canada has one of the best-educated workforces in the world, but there are too many people without jobs and jobs without people.”
Tom Sigurdson of the BC Building Trades Council, however, had a different view on the minister’s comments.
He said Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, the department that approves temporary foreign workers, seem to be granting such approval too easily without investigating the labour market.
“In the time that I’ve been the executive director I’ve never had that department phone up to find out how many workers we have available to fill those jobs,” Sigurdson said. “I don’t know how they do their research.”
Earlier this month, the Alberta Federation of Labour criticized Ottawa for bringing in a new Alberta-specific expedited TFW program. It removed almost all requirements to prove no local labour could fill certain jobs.