Employment Minister Jason Kenney says he considered shutting down the Temporary Foreign Worker Program altogether but has decided to phase it out instead.
In an interview airing Saturday on CBC Radio's The House, Kenney says he agrees with the argument that the free market should decide whether businesses need to increase wages to attract workers.
"To be honest, if I were setting policy today," Kenney told guest host Terry Milewski, I would not have opened that program as they did in 2002. But it's there."
"So why not shut it down?" Milewski asked.
I think that's a fair question," Kenney replied, "We seriously looked at that as an option."
"We seriously looked at saying what every other developed country does: no general low-skilled temporary foreign workers stream," Kenney said. "We came to the conclusion that the economic costs in general and the adjustment costs for particular businesses would be too extreme."
"Probably several thousands of businesses, if we did that cold turkey, would go out of business," Kenney told Milewski.
Kenney announced Friday, just as Parliament went on summer recess, that employers will be barred from hiring temporary foreign workers in regions where the unemployment rate is above six per cent.
The government would also put a 10 per cent cap on the number of low-wage temporary foreign workers employers can hire per work site by 2016.
That cap will be gradually phased in, starting at 30 per cent effective immediately, then reduced to 20 per cent on July 1, 2015, and 10 per cent a year later in 2016.
"The government could then decide to go to zero per cent and eliminate the low-skilled stream, but we're trying to do this in a prudent way where the adjustment costs are moderate and we don't just end up causing devastation for thousands of businesses."
Other reforms to the program include:
- An increase in the number of inspections: one in four employers will be inspected each year. The government says it will hire approximately 20 more inspectors, bringing the number to about 60.
- An increase from $275 to $1,000 in the application fee employers must pay per worker requested, effective immediately.
- Fines of up to $100,000 for employers who abuse the program, starting in fall.
- Additional funding for the Canada Border Services Agency so it can pursue more criminal investigations.
- Posting the names of employers who receive permission to hire foreign workers.
- Making public the number of positions approved through the program on a quarterly basis.
- Reducing the amount of time a temporary foreign worker can be employed in Canada, to two years from four.
Several business groups, which have been generally supportive of the government's initiatives, were critical of the government's announcement Friday, saying Kenney used a bulldozer where a hammer would have sufficed.
If the highlight of your working day is the 4 o'clock chocolate run, perhaps you should take inspiration from <a href="http://www.jenniferearle.com/about.html" target="_blank">Jenny Earle</a>. A self-confessed chocoholic, Earle spends her day immersed in chocolate, so to speak. Like a pretty, modern-day Willy Wonka, the chocolate expert and consultant runs 'chocolate ecstasy tours' and consults for various small and large businesses on cost analysis and strategy, taste analysis and recipe development. Find out if you've got what it takes to be a chocolate consultant with <a href="http://www.chocablog.com/features/louise-thomas-the-chocolate-consultant/" target="_blank">Louise Thomas</a>'s insider guide.
Water Slide Tester
Want a life of thrills and spills? In January 2013, Leeds student Sebastian Smith landed a £20,000 a year job as a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE_uy7gDOZ8" target="_blank">water slide tester with First Choice</a> travel company. The role involved travelling the globe for six months visiting the world's best water parks in places as far and wide as Faliraki, Turkey and Jamaica, and rating their slides. Fancy making a splash for cash? Check out these tips on <a href="http://www.bestjobsinfoguide.com/How_to_Become_a_Water_Slide_Tester" target="_blank">how to become a water slide tester</a>.
Video Game Tester
Think playing video games for a living sounds too good to be true? A quick Google search will show you this dream job really does exist and companies are regular looking for candidates. Read up on a few pointers on <a href="http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/716229/how-to-become-a-video-game-tester-g4u/" target="_blank">how to become a games tester</a> before you make your application, if you want the best chance of beating the competition.
In past centuries ale tasters (or ale coroners as they were known then) were used to check the health and safety of alcohol being sold in the local area. But in 2010 the role was reintroduced by London's trendy Spitalfield's Market. The market's modern day version can be found blogging at <a href="http://www.londonaletaster.co.uk/2010/07/pride-of-spitalfields.html" target="_blank">The London Ale Taster</a> where he reviews the good, the bad and the ugly of the ales sold in the area.
Luxury Travel Reviewer
Find yourself counting down the days to annual leave? Got a picture like this as your work computer screen saver? Perhaps you should keep your eyes peeled for <a href="http://www.lti-members.com/" target="_blank">Luxury Travel Intelligence</a>'s next vacancy. The members-only resource for wealthy travellers advertised last month (March 2014) for someone to tour the world for a year, reviewing the most exclusive hotels and resorts. The trip, worth £600,000 included a stay on Sir Richard Branson's Necker Island, a visit to David Furnish's new Champagne lounge in Las Vegas, a stay at the Velaa Private Island hotel in the Maldives and a tour of Europe's top ski resorts.
Sex Toy Tester
Feel like you just don't get the buzz you need from your current job? You could do worse than take a leaf out of student Amy Kingston's book. The 22-year-old confessed to Reveal magazine she earns around £250 a month, testing sex toys and writing saucy reviews for adult website, lovehoney.co.uk. Fancy giving it a go? The <a href="http://www.lovehoney.co.uk/community/testers/" target="_blank">website is recruiting</a> as we speak.
Ever feel like face planting your keyboard and having a little snooze at work. Well, land yourself a role as a bed tester and you could get paid for sleeping on the job. As '<a href="http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/premier-inn-appoints-new-director-of-bed-bouncing/" target="_blank">director of bed bouncing</a>' for hotel chain Premier Inn, Natalie Thomas is tasked with testing how comfortable each of the chain's 46,000 beds is, spending about 20 minutes on each - just long enough for a quick power nap!
Check out this genuine job description for a <a href="http://www.tourism.australia.com/documents/Campaigns/BJITW_JobDescription_WildifeCaretaker.pdf" target="_blank">Wildlife Caretaker</a> from Australia Tourism: 'We're searching for a Wildlife Caretaker - someone with a deep kinship for our native wildlife, nurturing the unspoilt landscape and breathtaking ecosystem with your knowledge and passion and sharing our stories with the world. As Wildlife caretaker you'll swim with sea lions, come face to face with great white sharks and assist with conservation projects. Your duties will allow you to explore our amazing environment by foot, kayak, bicycle, and boat, taking only photographs and leaving only footprints. On Kangaroo Island you'll talk to wallabies and cuddle koalas, sun bake with seals on the pristine beach at Seal Bay, feed echidnas in untouched bushland, and play with dolphins in the crystal clear waters.' Sorry, we forgot to say - the job has already gone.
Love clothes? Love shopping? A personal shopper could be your perfect role. Okay, so you're not shopping for yourself but you do get to spend the day choosing clothes and putting outfits together. Most major department stores now have their own personal shoppers - or style consultants - on hand to help those who have the cash to splash but don't have the first clue about styling. For an insider's view, Liberty personal shopper, <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/student/career-planning/getting-job/i-want-your-job-personal-shopper-524502.html" target="_blank">Karen Proctor spills the beans</a>.
Yes, you read that correctly. This job exists - and once again it's thanks to the Australian tourist board. They certainly know about job satisfaction in Oz. Chief Funster, Andrew Smith, based in Sydney, travels throughout New South Wales as a social media commentator and professional party-goerr, reviewing the coolest gigs, parties and VIP events in Sydney and New South Wales as well as helping to promote food festivals, lifestyle, sports, cultural, entertainment and arts events across the state. Working behind the scenes, Andrew plays an integral role in the Sydney Festival, Mardi Gras and Vivid Festival, all leading up to the spectacular New Year's Eve fireworks on Sydney Harbour.