Temporary Foreign Workers

Conservative movements always seem to have the same quandary. Industries say that unrestricted free labour market is essential to stay competitive.  But the libertarian base wants none of it: the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) brings in too many non-European faces.    Jason Kenny is caught between two camps among the Conservatives over the TFWP.  He tried to appease the base by tightening up the TFWP, which in turn angers the industries.  History proves that xenophobia of the libertarian variety destroys competitive edge of any economy.  So Mr. Kenny somehow must find the way to please the Conservative rich friends, while hanging on to the support from the libertarian (Reform Party or Wild Rose) base.

I have observed the same catch-22 in other times and places.   The Dunsmuir Collieries brought in cheap Japanese labour to the coal mines on the Vancouver Island during the late 19th Century.  It angered the conservative base and the racists in B.C.  It made them turned against the Eastern establishment and the Federal Government.  When fishermen on the B.C. coast struck against the processing plants demanding higher price for their salmon catch, the industry brought in Japanese fishermen as scabs to break the strike in 1901, it angered both the labour left and the racist right.  Resentment festered until the racist riot in Vancouver in 1907 against Chinese and Japanese.

Apartheid in South Africa was introduced to appease the Calvinist Afrikaners who felt that it was their mission to establish Christian European country in Africa. But the industries were unhappy because it created an expensive skilled labour pool: it was reserved only to whites.  Apartheid economy was unsustainable in the global market.  That was why big money like the Oppenheimer and the De Beer were supporting the Liberal Party of South Africa against Apartheid.

Now a tighter TFWP is threatening Mr. Harper’s pride and joy, Free Trade with India.  India’s IT sector demands free flow of highly-skilled IT workers between Canada and India.  What is the Harper government going to do?

It is just like an in-fight within the same GOP in the United States between the Republican Party main stream and the Tea Party libertarians over undocumented immigrants.

I believe that the immigration policy open equally to everyone is a key to a successful economy.  Everyone should have equal rights in Canada: a key to a successful country.



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