Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May says her party would eliminate the temporary foreign worker program. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston)

Green party leader says they would eliminate the temporary foreign worker program

The program has been the subject of various controversies

The federal Green Party leader says her party would get rid of a program that helps local businesses help fill labour shortages.

“You may not like this answer, but we want to abolish the temporary foreign worker program,” said May last Thursday, responding to a question from Denny Warner, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. “Our position is if you are good enough to work in Canada, you are good enough to live here.”

The federal government launched the program in the mid-1990s to address short-term labour shortages in various sectors, including but not exclusively agriculture. Some 52,000 temporary foreign workers received permission to work Canada in 1996. Almost two decades later, this number had risen to 310,000 by the end of 2015.

RELATED: Aquilini-owned blueberry farm ordered to pay $131,000 to foreign workers

RELATED: B.C.’s labour market goes global

While the program has generally benefited both employees and their families in the form of remittances and employers desperate for staff, it also been the subject of various controversies following various abuses with employers failing to supply appropriate accommodations, while withholding salaries and imposing other measures considered inappropriate, if not illegal. Victoria, specifically, entered national spotlight in 2014, when the owner of three McDonalds’ outlets in Victoria used the program to undercut the hiring of locals.  

The Peninsula News Review has also formally asked the other candidates running in Saanich Gulf-Islands — Liberal Ryan Windsor, Tory David Bush, New Democrat Sabina Singh and People’s Party of Canada candidate Ron Broda for their views on the program. It will update the story accordingly.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Camosun College shares free design of medical-grade face masks

Manufacturers across Canada, United States and UK have inquired

Greater Victoria gets 13 new handyDART buses to replace aging fleet

Rollout part of nearly 70 new buses across B.C.

Cannabis responsible for higher incomes among Canadian farmers

Without cannabis sales, national crop revenues would have dropped in 2019

North Saanich artist brightens pandemic with whimsical signs

Artist Anna Trelford decorates her fence with signs that riff on COVID-19 pandemic

Man who bound, murdered Langford teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read