Are Temporary Foreign Workers Needed If There's No Labour Shortage?

Research indicate there is no evidence of a national labour shortage at present or into the foreseeable future, and furthermore, there are large groups of underutilized populations who could join the workforce or be more fully employed. These are the results from a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Knowledge Synthesis Grant, of which the speaker was the principal investigator.

The research literature clearly finds that there are skills shortages in some industries and regions, but the literature points to a mismatch of skills rather than a shortage. Findings identified that new immigrants are often underutilized and also found that large groups of populations, such as unemployed older workers, disabled, youth, and Aboriginals could likely be integrated into the workforce with proper training.

Generally, temporary foreign workers (TFW) supports the Canadian economy in lower paying jobs, particularly in the hospitality, food and beverage industries while receiving less benefits than Canadians doing the same jobs. The speaker will substantiate the research on the Canadian labour market and comment on whether the TFW program is even warranted in view of the most recent controversy that eventually lead the Government to severely restrict the program.

Speaker: Dr. Susan McDaniel

Dr. Susan McDaniel is Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Global Population and Life Course, Prentice Research Chair in Global Population and Economy, Director of the Prentice Institute and Professor of Sociology at the University of Lethbridge. Dr. McDaniel relocated to Lethbridge in the summer of 2009 from the University of Utah where she was Professor and Senior Investigator in the Institute for Public & International Affairs. She had previously taught at the Universities of Alberta and Waterloo.

An internationally known sociologist/social demographer, Dr. McDaniel is the author of many books and research articles. She is a frequent advisor on social and science policies both in Canada and around the World. The Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) recently appointed Dr. McDaniel chair of its scientific advisory committee. The CCA is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that supports science-based expert assessments that inform public policy development in Canada.

Moderator: Trevor Page

Date: Thursday, June 5, 2014
Time: Noon - 1:30 PM
Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S
Cost: $11.00 (includes lunch)

Join SACPA on YouTube

In order to ask questions of our speaker in the chat feature of YouTube, you must have a YouTube account and be signed in. Please do so well ahead of the scheduled start time, so you’ll be ready. Go the YouTube Live link provided in this session flyer and on the top right of your browser click the “sign in” button. If you have Google or Gmail accounts, they can be used to sign in. If you don’t, click “Create Account” and follow along. Once you are signed in, you can return to the live stream and use the chat feature to ask your questions of the speaker. Remember you can only participate in the chat feature while we are livestreaming.