Politics on TV: Are companies abusing the temporary foreign workers program?

The three things you need to see

Here are the three things you should not have missed:

  1. MPs on temporary foreign workers
  2. Alison Redford in Washington
  3. New bird flu outbreak in China

Temporary Foreign Workers:

After obtaining Access to Information documents detailing the kinds of service industry businesses applying for the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion program for temporary foreign workers – a program which is supposed to fill niche demands for highly skilled workers – Power & Politics spoke with Gil McGowan of the Alberta Federation of Labour. McGowan said the documents tell a story of abuse, with 5000 employers being granted approvals that never should have been granted, and that this accelerated program has fewer checks and balances than the main temporary foreign workers program. Evan Solomon then spoke with an MP panel of Kellie Leitch, Jinny Sims and Kevin Lamoureux, where Leitch insisted that the government is reviewing the program to ensure that it would be improved. Sims said the government was failing to do its due diligence, while Lamoureux said the government needs to take responsibility for the flaws in the program and that it has done nothing to fix them. Over on Power Play, Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner said that the government used the temporary foreign worker program to create a cheap, submissive labour pool.

Keystone XL:

With Alberta premier Alison Redford in Washington to make another push for the Keystone XL pipeline at the same time as a new anti-Keystone ad campaign is being launched in the States, both Power & Politics and Power Play spoke with Cal Dallas, Alberta’s intergovernmental and international relations minister. Dallas said that amidst the increase in rhetoric that they are addressing the issues that pipelines are safer than any other modes of transporting oil, and that Alberta has a robust climate change strategy which they are in the process of renewing in order to better meet their 2020 and 2050 targets. Dallas also told Don Martin that they are seeing good return from their lobbyist contracts around media strategies, organizing meetings with elected officials and senior executives.

Bird flu:

With a new outbreak of bird flu being reported in China, with eight deaths and 28 confirmed cases, Evan Solomon spoke with the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Gregory Taylor. Taylor said that evidence still being collected, and that the outbreak is related to poultry, with no evidence of human-to-human transmission, or that any of the people infected have affected anyone else. Taylor said that one person from his department is at the embassy in Beijing liaising with Chinese officials, who have been very open and cooperative, and that the virus seems to be susceptible to the kinds of anti-viral drugs that are in stockpiles.

Worth Noting:

  • Public Affairs Manager for Google, Aaron Brindle, said that their cameras will be on the Hill for several days to capture the sights for Google Street View, and that those images will be online within several weeks once they’ve been processed and gone through quality control.
  • Power Play’s Commons Folk feature was on NDP MP Wayne Marston, who spoke about the tragic circumstances of the death of his sister when he was a child, his mother’s mental illness, and how he found his sense of self within the labour movement.

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