Create a system to link refugees who are ready to work, with businesses that are currently using the Temporary Foreign Worker program to fill permanent jobs.
By Howard Adelman, Naomi Alboim and Mike Molloy, The Globe and Mail
Howard Adelman is a Professor Emeritus at York University and a founder of Operation Lifeline. Naomi Alboim is a fellow at the Queen’s University School of Policy Studies and a former Ontario Deputy Minister of Citizenship. Mike Molloy is a senior fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and a former Canadian Ambassador to Jordan.
Two separate announcements were made by ministers of the Crown on Friday, June 20, World Refugee Day.
The first, made by Chris Alexander, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced a contribution of $50.7-million to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to help that organization in its protection and relief efforts with Syrian refugees.
While this is welcomed, there was no announcement by the minister about Canada’s response to the UNHCR’s request to allocate additional resettlement places over the original 1,300 previously agreed to by the Canadian government for these refugees. Nor has there been a clear statement by the minister as to how many of those Syrian refugees have actually arrived in Canada.
The second announcement was made by Jason Kenney, the Minister of Employment and Social Development, and Mr. Alexander, about changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. These changes will make it far more difficult for employers to bring in TFWs to fill low-skilled, low-wage jobs.
There is an important potential connection between these two announcements. This connection was not made by either minister.