From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Of predetermined outcomes

The Harper government is expert at designing systems and bids in order to achieve the outcome they desire. Now if the outcome you desire is in the best interests of the nation that could be a good thing, alas,  with the Conservatives their motives are often far from pure.

That is the case with the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, on the surface employers wishing to make use of this program must display their efforts in finding qualified Canadians to fill the available positions through what is called a labour market opinion. Sounds good except the government merely takes their word for it, not requiring any supporting documentation. Yes this is the same government that is forcing EI recipients to provide documented proof of job search, but that is a whole other post.

In what  in these parts can only be considered a delicious twist this nudge nudge wink wink approach to due diligence may have just jumped up and bit the Harper government squarely in the ass.  The two unions challenging the program in court have won a ruling ordering the government  to hand over the 300 resumes from Canadian workers who applied for jobs at HD Mining which had recieved 201 permits to import Chinese workers.

Now this is where it gets interesting, with the court imposed December 7th deadline having passed Human Resources Canada has failed to produce said documents, why pray tell, well they don't have them and HD mining refuses to hand them over claiming they are under no obligation to do so and the government agrees"Government lawyers have argued they can't force the company to hand the documents over." In other words proof the government doesn't have the proof and never did

This has lead the two unions involved to apply for a contmpt of court hearing

A lawyer told Federal Court on Friday he's planning to apply for a contempt-of-court hearing against Human Resources Minister Diane Finley after her department failed to fulfil a Dec. 7 disclosure order related to foreign worker permits.

If this case does nothing else, it has at least laid bare the Harper government's duplicitous nature when it comes to protecting Canadian workers.


  1. Every so often, Kev, as this whole sordid mess amply demonstrates, we get a peek at the man behind the curtain.

    1. Yes it does, Lorne This case also demonstrates why the Conservatives are so hell bent on destroying Unions. They prove themselves at times to be formidable opponents to the Conservative agenda.

  2. Another aspect of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program that needs some examination is its impact on resource development negotiations with First Nations. In the past, resource extractors needed to provide some modicum of benefits sharing in exchange for use of traditional territories. More often than not, that included job training and employment during the lifetime of the project. These economic benefits formed part of the Environmental Impact Statement that was required for review and approval under federal and provincial environmental assessment legislation. We know that Harper has f8cked over the process with their revised Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 that basically reduces timelines to fast track projects. Negotiating benefits sharing agreements that are fair and comprehensive requires time so I wonder if employment related benefits will be sacrificed.

    1. I would think so Beijing, The Harper government has decided that anything, be it environmental regulations , net benefit provisions or in fact any type of precondition that in their minds impedes in any small way the extraction of resources needs to be removed. Truly a wild west mindset.