Essex MP Tracey Ramsey at the Labour Day Rally in Windsor, September 5, 2016. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle.)

NDP Want Temporary Foreign Worker Program Audited

The federal Liberal government says it is eliminating the controversial four-in, four-out program for temporary foreign workers, and while Essex MP Tracey Ramsey is happy to see it go, she says Ottawa needs to take it further.

The New Democratic Party want a full audit of the temporary foreign worker program.

“I think an audit would put some evidence in front of us,” says Ramsey noting that the parliamentary committee that studied abuses in the program based its recommendations on anecdotal evidence. Eliminating four-in, four-out was only one of the committee’s recommendations to fix a system often described as “broken”.

“We need to understand who’s out there working under employers that have been abusing the program, and then employers who have been using the program responsibly, how can they be part of the solution.”

Under the rule, a company can bring in a foreign worker for four years. The employee is trained, fits into the work culture, and the company can rely on their return each year. However, after four years, the employee must return to their country of origin and is not allowed to reapply to work in Canada for another four years.

Ramsey says it doesn’t make business sense to invest in a worker that can only be with the country for four years.

“There are employers in our region who have employed people through this program who had them on a path to citizenship in the past and were unable to do that,” says Ramsey.

A release from Ramsey also says “the government needs to overall the TFW program to ensure Canadians are always given first priority, and that temporary foreign workers are properly protected and have a path to permanent residency.”

The rule was brought in by the former Conservative government, and the Liberals promised to fix the program during their election campaign.