THE BLOG
04/24/2014 05:49 EDT | Updated 06/24/2014 05:59 EDT

Careful Students, Your Summer Job Pool Just Got Smaller

While you were hard at work last semester studying and preparing for exams, the Government of Canada was busy, aggressively trying to attract foreign youth to Canada to work this summer. In the next two months a small army of ambitious youth from all the world will arrive in our airports. They will be issued an open work permit, and they will immediately begin to apply for the jobs you may have wanted this summer.

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Some 20,000 youth workers are coming to Canada, and they want your summer job.

If you're looking for a summer job, you may be facing stiffer competition than you realize.

While you were hard at work last semester studying and preparing for exams, the Government of Canada was busy, aggressively trying to attract foreign youth to Canada to work this summer.

They did an excellent job, and in the next two months a small army of ambitious youth from all the world will arrive in our airports. They will be issued an open work permit, and they will immediately begin to apply for the jobs you may have wanted this summer.

The programs may make "dreams come true" for foreign youth, but a nightmare is unfolding for Canadian students and new graduates.

As your student loans and next year's tuition weigh heavily on your mind, you will compete for employment against tens of thousands of youth from all over the world, including:

  • Chile (750 workers will arrive, under age 35)
  • Costa Rica (100 youth workers will arrive)
  • Mexico (250 youth workers will arrive)
  • Taiwan (1,000 youth workers will arrive)
  • Ukraine (200 youth workers will arrive)
  • Ireland (10,700 [!!] youth workers will arrive)
  • United Kingdom (5350 youth workers will arrive)

And the list goes on.

There are 32 countries participating in the program, called "International Experience Canada." Their advertisements beckon to students around the world:

"Make your working holiday dream a reality! ... You've always dreamed of spending a year living and working in Canada. Through International Experience Canada, you can apply for a temporary work permit to travel and work in Canada..."

These foreign workers will be willing to work for less money that you, with more difficult hours, often without asserting their rights to their employers -- since they usually don't know what those rights are. Many of them will come from countries where wages are a fraction of Canadian salaries.

The Canadian Foreign Worker programs are, of course, abject failures in design and practice, but this one takes the cake. The government of Canada, in all its wisdom, begins accepting applications for these programs from December through April, making sure most of the foreign youth workers arrive at the exact time you have finished your exams and need a job.

It's not just that this program favours applicants from predominantly Caucasian countries, a seeming attempt to manipulate the demographics and complexion of immigration to Canada. And it's not just that this program damages employment opportunities for Canadian youth. The more serious problem is the waterfall effect:

At the end of their 12 month work permits, many of these youth will have no avenue to remain in Canada and continue their employment legally. It is anyone's guess how many will stay on with their employers and work illegally for cash under the table. So when next summer rolls around, you may have even more competition: one generation of stay-over workers who will inevitably accept less salary to keep working under the table, PLUS the new batch of youth workers, which is increased each year.

To learn more about how the Government of Canada is attracting foreign youth to work here this summer, you can visit the International Experience Canada website.

If you disagree with the existence or timing of this program, SAY SOMETHING.

Send a letter to the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment at jason.kenney@parl.gc.ca.

Or talk to him on Twitter.

Lets make this trend #DudeWheresMyJob

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