There were 300,111 migrant workers in Canada in 2011 – a more than three-fold increase over the previous decade. Another 190,769 entered that year, creating a temporary foreign workforce of nearly half a million. In 2010, the government accepted one and a half times more migrant workers than permanent Canadian residents.
–Krystle Alarcon, in her four-part series, Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers Controversy: Years in the Making
What is the impact of Canada’s foreign temporary workers program on urban/regional economies? Are these workers more likely exposed to exploitative conditions? Did you know that Vancouver’s Canada Line was built with workers making less than minimum wage?
We continue the ongoing series, The Working City, by discussing Canada’s temporary foreign worker program with Krystle Alarcon, the author of a recent four-part series published by The Tyee, who explores the many problems with the program and the possibilities for reform. We pay particular attention to the urban dimensions of this program and the implications for urban economies and broader ripple effects throughout regional labour markets.
You can find other episodes of The Working City series here.