Temporary Foreign Worker Program important to N.B., lawyer says
Nicole Druckman says moratorium in fast-food industry will hurt province, given aging population
A Moncton lawyer says a moratorium is not the answer when it comes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
Nicole Druckman, whose clients are foreign workers and employers, contends the program is important to the province's economy, even though it does have some problems.
"When we have a system that's broken, by doing what's been done, we're punishing people, as opposed to trying to go in deeply and figure out exactly and identifying the problems and re-structuring the program so it works properly," Druckman told CBC's Information Morning Moncton on Tuesday.
"There is a need for this program, and we need to ensure things are fixed so workers can work, employers can have their employees at work and contribute to the economy."
Federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney has suspended use of the program by the fast-food industry amid allegations it is being abused.
The federal Liberals are now proposing changes to the troubled program, including regular probes by the auditor general.
"The result [of the program] has been fewer jobs for Canadian workers, the suppression of Canadian wages and in some cases the exploitation of vulnerable foreign workers," Liberal immigration critic John McCallum has said.
Druckman says intense parliamentary scrutiny of the program is causing a lot of anxiety for clients at her firm, Delehanty Rinzler Druckman.
The employers she represents often receive no applications from Canadian candidates for positions in the food industry, she said.
The government has to realize we are the Atlantic provinces, we're a completely different area. And the program has to be catered towards each province.- Nicole Druckman, lawyer
"The government has to realize we are the Atlantic provinces, we're a completely different area. And the program has to be catered towards each province," said Druckman.
"It's a federal program, they make criteria for the whole country, but they don't necessarily want low-skilled workers … but in our neck of the woods, there aren't that many high-paying jobs, so there is a shortage of enough people that want to do low skilled jobs, and I believe our governments have to relook at it."
In a province like New Brunswick, with an aging population, it's important to encourage, not discourage, foreign workers, Druckman stressed.