04/11/2013 05:41 EDT | Updated 06/11/2013 05:12 EDT

Harper: Temporary Foreign Worker Program Reforms In The Works After RBC Scandal

CALGARY - Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he has concerns about the growing use of temporary foreign workers in Canada.

Harper says the reality is that some employers need to bring in outside workers to fill jobs.

But he says foreign workers should only be filling spots temporarily in fields where there are "absolute and acute" labour shortages.

Harper says reforms are being drafted to ensure the program is being used only for that purpose.

In 2012, there were more than 213,000 foreign workers in Canada and another 160,000 immigrants who arrived under the federal skilled worker program.

The rapid growth of the temporary foreign worker program has raised concerns that Canadian companies are filling job vacancies with cheaper workers from overseas rather than actively finding Canadians to fill the jobs.

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