Out of Workers, Canada Is Throwing Its Doors Open to Migrants


·         Businesses say they can’t find workers for tough, rural jobs

·         But program has been criticized for potential exploitation


By Randy Thanthong-Knight and Theophilos Argitis, Bloomberg

April 29, 2022


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is opening up Canada to an increase of temporary foreign workers in a controversial experiment aimed at easing strains on the nation’s overheating economy.


Starting Saturday, the federal government will loosen limits on hiring low-wage employees from abroad, changes that could bring in thousands of additional migrant workers.


The move adds to an intensive effort to ramp up immigration to fill record-high levels of job vacancies as the country faces one of its tightest labor markets in decades.


Critics warn, however, the changes will suppress wages and undermine incentives for companies to make productivity-enhancing investments, while broadening a program that’s been accused of leaving foreign workers vulnerable to exploitation.


“The challenge is striking the balance between filling the labor-market need and ensuring that workers have protection within the program itself,” Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough said in a telephone interview.


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