A Wide Range of Whistleblowers Prove That RBC is Just the Tip of the Iceberg in Canada's TFW Scandal

The dam of silence has burst. Three days ago there was one leaky Dave Moreau talking to the CBC, in the next couple of days a few other folks in the same situation started telling their stories publicly. Overnight and today whistleblowers from every sector of Canada's economy are talking. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program scandal is not about RBC anymore or about whether they broke the rules. It's about the TFW program as an obvious sop to business and how it is destroying jobs and opportunities for a generation of young Canadians.

This scandal has been going on for years in industries ranging from the hated Tar Sands to the beloved Tim Hortons. RBC, and now the not-so-beloved other banks, just got caught because whistleblower Dave came out on a weekend - when the full RBC PR machinery was off and when the HD mining corporation's hiring of 200 TFWs from China had already primed Canadians to pay attention.

Successive governments, both Conservative and Liberal, have been willfully ignoring and even excusing this practice for years by saying that we need more skilled workers. Well we have a million and a half unemployed workers yet there were 300,000 temporary foreign workers in Canada last year. As Karl Flecker of the Canadian Labour Congress said, "Ottawa’s policy to allow employers to pay foreign temp workers 15 per cent less than the prevailing wage simply offers an incentive for employers to replace Canadian workers." For instance there are tons of construction job postings in Alberta and Saskatchewan's newspapers at ridiculously low wages. Few Canadians ever apply because they can't make a living at those low wage levels given the high cost of living now in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Profits are the real issue, the program is a direct attack on Canadian workers by driving down wages. A wage race to the bottom ensues when companies of any size or in any sector have one that is using cheaper TFWs.and the other isn't. Today on the 'Boycott RBC facebook page there are numerous reports that RBC is intimidating their IT workers all over Canada about the info that is being leaked onto the page. Jenny, who started and maintains the page says, "I want everyone to know that I will protect you at all costs - even if that means going to jail." One whistleblower says, "Today I show up for work and we staff have received a letter from Gord Nixon [RBC's CEO] explicitly telling staff to have no opinion, to be aware and say this is happening in all major banks and corporations." Going on to add, " Clients should know we have all been provided with scripted answers and told to comply and not to respond to individual inquiries."

My solution would be to eliminate the Temporary Foreign Worker Program immediately. Force companies who operate in Canada to hire Canadians, if they can't find capable workers, let 'em train them. Let them pay fair wages that are high enough for Canadians to live modestly and raise a family on. If companies can't compete with others who can exist while paying fair wages let 'em hit the road, who needs 'em. Further Canadians, who would then be earning a fair wage, would be able to afford TimBits that cost a few cents more, they'd be able to pay taxes instead of collecting UIC and welfare, they'd be able to afford an education for their kids, they'd not be forced to keep quiet for fear of being fired, they'd be able to stand up strait and proud and we'd all be better off for it. All of us that is except the profiteers and their politician lackeys.