Majority of Temporary Foreign Workers Confirmed to be Menial Jobs In Major Canadian Cities

Website maps businesses using temporary foreign workers in B.C. and Alberta

By Dene Moore
The Canadian Press: May 7, 2014

The vast majority of temporary foreign workers approved in the two westernmost provinces were located the three major urban centres, according to a new website mapping government authorizations.

That’s contrary to claims that the program is bolstering the workforce in rural or remote areas where resource companies struggle to recruit.

And the largest portion of the businesses that received authorizations, by far, were in the food service sector.

Of 511 Metro Vancouver businesses that received government authorization to recruit temporary foreign workers over a one-year period, 107 were restaurants, pubs or fast-food outlets — almost 21 per cent of the total. Everything from Megabite Pizza and Waves Coffee to Dead Frog Brewery and Doolin’s Irish Pub received approvals.

In Calgary, 299 of the 718 business that received authorizations in the same period were restaurants, pubs and fast-food outlets — 41 per cent. Those included a slew of Subway, Dairy Queen and many other franchises, as well as several mom-and-pop eateries.

“The majority of the people in those programs are not skilled workers working on construction projects where there’s a labour shortage,” Jim Sinclair, president of the B.C. Federation of Labour, said Wednesday.

“They’re simply being used as cheap labour in large urban areas where there’s already tens of thousands of people unemployed.”

The website, (, shows businesses in British Columbia and Alberta that successfully applied to the program up until the end of 2012.

(Read the full article at Vancouver Sun)

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