One can think of the changes underway as renovations to what former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney liked to describe as the “house” of the Canadian nation.
Showing how seemingly disconnected floors and rooms of the "house" are related reveals a troubling blueprint of change — a renovation that will overhaul the very architecture of rights and membership in Canada.
As scandals about abuse of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program break with increasing regularity, the spotlight still overlooks the exploitation that workers face just to get jobs under that program.
A new report from the Metcalf Foundation reveals that migrant workers regularly pay thousands of dollars in recruiting fees — equal to as much as two to three years’ wages in their home currency — to work in minimum wage jobs in Ontario.
Employer groups such as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business insist that their members need continued access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program since Canada is experiencing an acute labour shortage, including a shortage of low-skilled workers.
That claim is highly dubious, and should be rejected by the federal government, which is now reviewing the program.
This is the first section of a three-part commentary by Sheila Block on our Equality Project report. Stay tuned over the coming weeks as we release parts two and three.
The Broadbent Institute paper provides an overview of the complex range of causes of Canada’s increased income inequality. They range from changes in how economic activity is organized and located internationally to domestic policy decisions. Some, like changes in patterns of international trade and production or technological change, can make the problem seem very large and intractable. That is why it is particularly important to identify those government policies that have contributed to increased inequality. These policies that concentrated wealth and power in the hands of the few to the detriment of the many were not inevitable. The politicians who implemented them made choices, and those choices can be reversed. Reversing these policy decisions is an important step to addressing inequality in Canada.