To the Editor,
The silver-tongued head of RBC finally got around to apologizing for the foreign workers controversy swirling around his bank.
No, Gord Nixon did not have an epiphany on the road to Ottawa and suddenly become a born-again believer in his Canadian workers. He is in damage control mode. He made a strategic decision to diffuse the current (and he hopes short-term) uproar to protect his company’s bottom line.
Corporations have been intentionally abusing the foreign workers program and Harper’s government was happy to assist them until the issue exploded into a political liability. Many Canadian are outraged by the rapidly expanding use of low cost foreign workers.
Instead of allowing companies to pay foreign workers 15% less than the going rate, Harper’s government should make the companies pay a 15% surtax based on their foreigner workers’ wages.
There’s nothing like money to focus the minds of upper management. The surtax could then be used for Canadian job training programs.
Mister Harper should be enticing (or forcing) Canadian corporations to actively participate in apprenticeship and technical training programs. Canadian workers spend their money in our country; foreign workers send a large portion home. Profit-driven corporations are currently enhancing the technological skill sets of workers from counties that are Canada’s global competitors. That doesn’t seem very clever.