A news story this week blandly described the perverse reality that is the current state of the Canadian economy. The headline read "Corporate profit margins at 27-year high and likely to stay there." Pretty heady stuff if you took it out of context. But the context is everything: pathetic growth projections, record high personal debt, stagnating wages, hundreds of billions in idle corporate cash, a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure deficit, a growing real estate bubble and a Bank of Canada chief who has no idea how to fix things. And, of course, a prime minister who thinks fixing things is heretical.
The federal government has warned the thousands of temporary foreign workers (TFWs) whose work permits are expired yesterday, April 1, to comply with the new law by leaving the country or be dealt with accordingly.
"Let there be no mistake: We will not tolerate people going 'underground.' Flouting our immigration laws is not an option, and we will deal with offenders swiftly and fairly," said Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Employment Minister Pierre Poilievre in a statement.
Four years ago, April 1, 2015 was set as the deadline for TFWs in low-skilled occupations to either become permanent residents or return to their home countries as a means to encourage employers to hire Canadians.
On April 1, 2015, new federal government rules will set the stage for the largest set of deportations in Canada's history. An estimated 70,000 temporary foreign workers whose contracts are expiring will either voluntarily leave Canada, be given deportation orders, or will continue living here without legal documents.
Ethel Tungohan interviewed temporary foreign workers about the impact the 4 & 4 rule will have on them and their families. All names in this piece have been changed to protect the interviewees.
Related rabble.ca story:
On April 1, 2015, an estimated 70,000 temporary foreign workers whose contracts are expiring will either voluntarily leave Canada, be given deportation orders, or will continue living here without legal documents. Based on the number of temporary foreign workers seeking assistance from settlement services agencies and migrant organizations, 16,000 temporary foreign workers in Alberta will lose status in Alberta, which migrant advocates stress is a conservative estimate.
On March 7 New Brunswick Conservative MP John Williamson summed up the racialized caricature the Conservative government is using to prop up its economic policies in the Maritimes: lazy white locals and hardworking transnational migrants.
There was a lot of ire and eye-rolling on March 7 when New Brunswick Conservative MP John Williamson, in response to a question about labour shortages in meat-packing and processing, claimed: "it makes no sense to pay whities to stay home w
On April 1, 2015, new federal government rules will set the stage for the largest set of deportations in Canada's history. A new immigration policy targeting low-waged migrant workers in the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) and the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP) takes effect.
This policy has been dubbed the "four and four" or "4 & 4" rule because the legislation introduced on April 1, 2012 states that migrant workers who have been employed in Canada for four years or more must leave the country, and that these workers will be barred from working in Canada for another four years, after which they can reapply for a work permit.
Imagine being 23 years old, born and raised in Canada, and then waking up one morning to the news that your citizenship has been stripped in the only country you have ever called home.
That is Deepan Budlakoti's story.
Born to Indian working class parents, growing up in the suburbs of Toronto, the first few years of Budlakoti's life read like that of any child of immigrant parents. But in 2010, Budlakoti's world as he knew it came to a screeching halt, and what happened after should give us all cause for concern.
On February 24, Deepan went to court to defend his right to health care.