NEWS
06/25/2014 02:44 EDT | Updated 08/25/2014 05:59 EDT

Protesters interrupt Jason Kenney news conference on temporary foreign workers

Two protesters interrupted Employment Minister Jason Kenney just as he began to speak at a news conference following the conclusion of a one-day skills summit organized by his department in Toronto on Wednesday.

The first protester, dressed in plain clothes, interrupted the politician just 30 seconds after he began to speak. He expressed his frustration with the live-in caregiver program — one of many streams that make up the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

"Your decisions can not be allowed to continue. What you're doing to the live-in caregiver program in specific. We need full immigration status, not deportation," the protester was heard shouting as he was escorted out of the room.

Kenney said he would be happy to take questions at the end of the news conference.

The minister has spent the last few days defending major changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program against criticism from business groups that are unhappy with the government's plan to cap the number of low-wage workers they can hire.

In an interview airing Saturday on CBC Radio's The House, Kenney said he considered scrapping the low-skilled stream of the program right away, but decided to phase it out instead.

Kenney said the government would take another look at the low-wage stream of the program in 2016 and decide then whether it should be scrapped altogether.

Today's skills summit brought together business leaders, economists, and public policy experts together to discuss whether there is a shortages of skills in Canada and how labour market data could be improved.

More to come