Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Monte Solberg is following in the footsteps of Brian Mulroney and pandering to one region with a two-barrelled gun: one barrel blasts them aid, while the other blasts Toronto and Ontario away.
Solberg is, for some reason, changing immigration rules for temporary foreign workers for one region only instead of nation-wide, to make it easier for that region to fill empty jobs and to meet their economy's needs. Even though he is a national Minister, in a federal government, he is creating two sets of rules for the country, which rule applies will depend upon where one is in the country.
It is a fact that some regions are facing employment crunches that cannot be met by Canadian workers -- there aren't enough who either want to do the job or have the skills to do the job. Here in Ontario we have a particularly acute shortage of construction workers, which anyone who has had to do work on their house has come up against, by both paying more to have the work done and waiting longer to get the work done. Yet in response to that, as we are well aware, the Conservative government stepped-up the effort to deport Portugese construction workers who have lived and worked here underground for many years. That was barrel number two -- it aims to deport double the previous number of these workers and their families, thus exacerbating the construction worker crunch, and to not replace them with fast-tracked temporary foreign workers. Barrel number one aims to do that only for Alberta and British Columbia.
Instead of thinking regionally, wouldn't it be bolder and more nationally inspiring to make this new policy nation-wide and letting the provinces decide which foreign workers they most need, whether it's construction workers in Ontario or nurses in BC. Apparently Solberg's department will develop a regional list of occupations in bad need of workers, but this list will only benefit Alberta and BC as it stands now. The Toronto Star quoted Pedro Barata, a Portugese community advocate, as saying, "The government should listen to the employers. It should listen to the economists. It should listen to the labour unions." Well, it's hardly going to do the latter, may even do the precise opposite of whatever the unions suggest, but be that as it may, the government is not listening to those who are advocating the best way to meet our country's needs. It's listening only to the tongues that espouse division, sniping at the neighbours, making one feel better by putting another region down; in other words, it's listening and pandering to the worst in us, instead of listening to the best and lifting us all out of the muck of regionalism. That's what a national government is supposed to do: inspire us to be better than what we are and give us the tools to become the best we can be, together.