Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- I wouldn't go as far as Haroon Siddiqui in suggesting that all temporary foreign worker programs be shut down entirely (at least absent some concurrent change to encourage a flow of new workers who are able to set down roots in Canada). But he's dead on in his scathing assessment of the Cons' current version:
Now Canada is flooded with temporary workers — 338,189 as of December 2012. In fact, there may be more. Ottawa has no way of knowing how many stayed behind at the end of their temporary visas. Canada has no exit controls.
They were all brought in ostensibly because of extensive skilled labour shortages.
But with 1.33 million jobless, there’s no shortage of labour for the 250,000 job vacancies. That’s nearly six jobless Canadians for every available job.
As for skills shortages, there are certainly some. But look at where the temporary workers landed, as the Globe and Mail has done.
Its sector-by-sector breakdown shows that only 9,300 of the 338,000 workers ended up in scientific and technical services. Less than 17,000 are in the manufacturing sector, and only 19,000 in construction. The highest number, 44,745, are in accommodation and food services.
That’s your foreign worker pouring coffee at Tim Hortons, baking pizzas at Boston Pizza, making beds at some motel and tending to a senior citizen somewhere.
...The real issue is that Canadians don’t want those jobs, certainly not at the wages on offer. So the skills shortages mantra is a bit of a scam.
- Meanwhile, Marc Zwelling notes that RBC's version of offshoring may have hit closer to home for some citizens since it reflected a loss of white-collar work - while hinting at the fact that we should be equally concerned about deliberate attempts to attack wages throughout Canada's economy. And Frank Graves looks at Canadians' attitudes toward immigration - predictably finding far more anti-immigrant animus among the Cons than among other parties' supporters (which might explain the Cons' preference for shuffling new imports out of the country again once employers are done with them).

- Allan Gregg writes about the effects of attack ads on public perceptions of government. But he glosses over one rather important point: the Cons and other right-wing parties may well see it as a plus to discredit both their political opponents, and the idea of accomplishing anything worthwhile through democratic action.

- Finally, for those who haven't yet seen PSAC's ad on the Cons' environmental destruction, it's well worth a look:

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