New Democrats’ call for emergency debate on Temporary Foreign Worker Program rejected by Speaker

Jinny Sims THE Conservative government’s “rampant mismanagement” of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program prompted NDP Employment and Social Development Critic Jinny Sims (Newton-North Delta) to ask for an emergency debate in Parliament on Tuesday.

“Conservatives keep making excuses, tinkering with administrative details and pretending to crack down,” said Sims. “But they aren’t protecting Canadian jobs. Abuse of the program continues, and this government is allowing it.”

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is supposed to help fill temporary skills shortages in highly specialized areas, or plug short-term labour gaps, such as those in the agricultural sector. But the Conservative government has badly mismanaged it, said Sims. Most recently, they allowed three McDonald’s restaurants in Victoria, B.C., to use the program to hire dozens of temporary foreign workers. At a time when the country’s youth unemployment rate is in the double digits, Canadians are outraged.

“Obviously, the Conservatives are failing to manage this program, and as a result, they are failing Canadians,” said NDP Deputy Critic for Employment and Social Development, Sadia Groguhe.

Despite Sims’ argument that ongoing misuses of the program demonstrate that it is in a state of crisis, the Speaker rejected her request for an emergency debate, saying he does not feel it is an urgent issue.