Friday, April 25, 2014

Political Ambition And Public Outrage

The interesting thing about political ambition and public outrage is that sometimes they work synergistically to produce positive results. Jason Kenney, whose ambition to become the Conservative Party's next leader have been widely rumoured, announced yesterday that fast food restaurants are being suspended from participation in the Temporary Foreign Workers Program after increasingly bad publicity over its misuse, resulting in higher rates of unemployment among Canadian citizens.

The following short video discusses a report from the CD Howe Institute which uncovered this disturbing fact:

However, how much of this is simply a temporary sop to the masses remains to be seen. Although McDonald's moved just prior to Kenney's announcement to suspend its use of temporary foreign workers, as the video below shows, its Canadian CEO, John Betts, regards the entire imbroglio as 'bullshit.'

Will this ban become permanent? The cynic in me suggests it won't, given that the program as administered by the Harper regime has become yet another way of assisting its corporate friends by distorting the labour market, enabling the industry to avoid paying its employees what the market demands.

However, should both the media and the public continue to be interested in the issue, perhaps a permanent solution will emerge. A big IF.


  1. With today's news that the Supreme Court has shot down Harper's dreams about the Senate, Lorne, it appears that the wheels are starting to fall off the Harper Magical Mystery Tour.

    1. One less demagogic weapon for Harper to wield in 2015, Owen. But something tells me he'll find other cudgels.

  2. Word on caution on the TFW issue. Harper could possibly exploit the situation politically. For example, although he and Flaherty were initially adamantly opposed to agreeing to the stimulus that the opposition parties were asking for during the 2008/09 financial meltdown, things changed when Harper apparently realized he could shovel bucketfuls of cash to targeted voter groups under the guise of stimulating the economy.

    In regard to the TFW issue, they are now proposing to fast-track immigrants with certain skills. First, why would we need to fast-track immigrants with "coffee pouring" or "bar tending" skills? Are there really a shortage of Canadians who cannot perform these jobs? Second, it is also possible that Harper/Kenney could fast-track targeted groups of immigrants that they think are likely to vote conservative.

    And there would be no way either the opposition parties or the public could monitor the types of immigrants being fast tracked. As with their usual M.O., they will just refuse to provide anyone with the data or answer any questions truthfully.

    1. When the announcement was made about fast-tracking certain immigrants whose skills are needed here in Canada, I was hard pressed to think of what skill-shortages there are here, Anon. The Parliamentary Budget Officer recently suggested there is no such shortage, yet more evidence that the Harper regime is hiding behind a myth to conceal the sluggishness of an economy that they keep telling us is doing so well.