Friday, April 12, 2013

The Patient Is Dying

The president of RBC says,"First, I want to apologize to the employees affected by this outsourcing arrangement as we should have been more sensitive and helpful to them. All will be offered comparable job opportunities within the bank." And Stephen Harper says he will look at reforming the guest worker program. As if the problem were a mere slip up -- a piddling lack of oversight.

But Haroon Sididqui writes in the Toronto Star that the temporary worker program is a carefully conceived attempt to undermine Canadian workers. And the man behind the scheme is Jason Kenny:

Jason Kenney is a clever politician juggling contradictory goals.

He floods the country with 250,000 immigrants a year, even though most cannot find jobs commensurate with the education and skills they were selected for. Tens of thousands of Canadian-educated graduates cannot find jobs either. His is an exploitative model that suits only the corporate sector — driving wages and worker demands down, profits up.

This arrangement is augmented with his even more blatantly exploitative temporary workers program. Employers get foreigners at a legislated lower wage than Canadians.

Kenny is doing more than providing business with cheap labour:

He has upended our traditional immigration system, wherein newcomers were seen as future citizens (not just fodder for corporate greed or a force to undermine the ostensibly spoiled homegrown workforce).

Immigrants were entitled to family reunification and citizenship, the latter after three years if they stayed on the right side of the law. Now they struggle for ages to get their families united and become citizens. This is a matter of policy or bureaucratic incompetence. Either way, it is not good for them and not good for Canada.
Kenney courts selected ethnic communities, turning up for their festivals and dinners, and gaining just enough votes to win targeted ridings for the Tories.

At the other end of the electoral spectrum, he manages anti-immigrant backlash, especially in his conservative constituency, by harping about how he’s “fixing the broken immigration system”; keeping out bogus refugees, such as the Roma; and standing on guard against “barbaric cultural practices” being imported into the country.

It really is quite a trick. But -- like the Wall Street Barons who can't see beyond the next quarter -- he and the prime minister are focused only on the next election, oblivious to the damage they are doing. Their country is dying. They are like  incompetent physicians -- confident that the operation has been a success, regardless of the outcome.


Lorne said...

Let us hope, Owen, that the patient takes the drastic action required in 2015 to extirpate this lethal disease.

Owen Gray said...

It's not going to be easy, Lorne. There is a significant minority of us who are already infected.

The Mound of Sound said...

They really are a bunch of bastards, Owen. Harper's war on workers, especially organized labour of any form within reach of federal powers, is and has been outrageous and utterly sleazy.

I'm sure the opposition parties will redress all that, won't they? Isn't Justin all for reinstating collective bargaining? Isn't he?

Owen Gray said...

Well, we live in hope, Mound. But -- like the man said -- I'll believe it when I see it.

Beijing York said...

Well when the official opposition leader fawns over the likes of Maggie Thatcher in his statement regarding her passing, my hopes are not high. As a life time NDP supporter (except for 3 elections in 30 years where I vote for an LPC member), I have little faith in Tommy Mulcair restoring workers' rights.

Owen Gray said...

I get the impression that Tommy is doing a Tony Blair, Bejiing.

And, having forgotten where he came from, Tony marched happily into Iraq.