Canada’s poverty and starvation has gotten so bad since 2008 that the United Nations has tried to intervene. The conservative government won’t even admit that the issue exists.
Shit Harper Did is trying to get a 30 second ad aired on tv during the NHL playoffs. They need to raise $95,000 within a few days.
Yes. Yes he does.
share this message please.
What an ass…
Fuck Tim Hortons, Fuck HD Mining and Fuck the “Temporary” Foreign Worker Exploitation Program!
Tim Hortons coffee sucks. So do their labour practices, as do the labour practices of HD Mining and most of the other employers who participate in the Conservative temporary foreign worker exploitation program.
I used to like Tim Hortons, especially in comparison to the excessively sweet and artery-clogging Krappy Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I have never been a fan of Tim Hortons coffee, and do not understood why so many Canadians go apeshit for it, idling their cars daily, patiently waiting in drive-through lines instead of making superior coffee at home for a fraction of the price. I used to enjoy their doughnuts and the occasional sandwich, however. Additionally, Tim Hortons has long had an image of being a notable part of Canadian culture; an image that has since become tarnished and cracked.
Things started going downhill for Timmy Hos when they stopped baking their doughnuts onsite after centralizing their baking operations in massive factories, where they flash freeze the baked products before shipping them to individual shops. Their downgraded doughnuts weren’t too bad at first, but they kept getting smaller and smaller, taking on an increasingly wilted appearance. The sandwiches were never anything special, but they had an appropriate, non-gluttonous serving size and were a nice alternative to other fast food options, most of which wreak havoc on the digestive and cardiovascular system.
Another turn-off was the way the chain began to cozy up to the Harper Conservative government, allowing their shops and brand name to be used for partisan political purposes and for war propaganda in favour of the ill-conceived and unjustified imperialist occupation of Afghanistan.
Then there’s the environmentally-unfriendly cups and packaging that litter almost every city, town and highway in Canada from coast to coast.
The last straw was when the CBC website reported that many Tim Hortons shops across Canada have been replacing Canadian workers with lower-paid employees under the temporary foreign worker program, which has been massively expanded and sped up by the elitist, anti-worker Harper Conservative government. This is despite the fact that unemployment and underemployment is high in most parts of Canada (especially amongst young people), and Tim Hortons franchises aren’t exactly struggling to turn a profit.
The CBC has revealed that many of these workers are being fed false promises, ripped off, and forced to work in abusive, unsafe environments. They are only allowed to be in the country to work for the specific employer who sponsored them, and many of the workers have to rent rooms in slum-like properties owned by their bosses (or landlords closely tied to their bosses). In some reported cases, the boss/landlords have extorted extra rent “tips” of hundreds of dollars part-way through the month, as well as illegally entering the apartments without notice. Paycheques are sometimes short-changed, and workplace discipline is often overly strict, petty and arbitrary. Racial discrimination – both subtle and explicit – sometimes enters the picture.
Fast food jobs have always had a reputation for low pay and poor treatment, even for Canadian-born citizens, but there was also a faint hope that abused workers could seek justice under the labour laws or quit and look for other jobs. Temporary foreign workers have very little recourse against law-breaking bosses and landlords, and are trapped in catch-22 situations. They are at the mercy of their bosses and landlords, and if they stand up for themselves, they will be fired, thrown out of their homes and deported.
The mining industry is another sector that has been exploiting and abusing the temporary foreign worker scheme, especially in British Columbia. The government program allows employers to bring workers in from other countries and pay them 15% less than the going rate for Canadian workers if those employers fill out paperwork saying they searched for Canadian workers but couldn’t find any with the required skills. This is a mere formality. What really happens is that the employer makes the job description so specific that almost no Canadian will fit the narrow definition of skilled. In one BC mining operation, hundreds of Canadians applied for jobs but were all rejected. The jobs were then filled by temporary workers from China. It was later revealed that one of the secret job requirements was to speak Mandarin!
The B.C. Federation of Labour recently presented documents in court showing that HD Mining International (Ltd.), which uses low-paid “temporary” workers from China in its BC coal mine, will not start hiring Canadians there until at least four-and-a-half years from now. The documents outline that HD plans to keep hiring temporary foreign workers for at least the next 14 years.
HD Mining, which was incorporated in 2011, is mostly owned by Huiyong Holdings (BC) Ltd. and Canadian Dehua Lvliang International Mines. The parent company of Huiyong Holdings (BC) Ltd. is Huiyong Holding Group (HHG), a private business based in China.
The CBC has reported that sketchy job recruiting agencies have been demanding up to $16,000 from Chinese workers to place them in physically demanding, dangerous jobs in various BC mines – jobs that outrageously only pay around $10 an hour! Those workers are compelled to cough up thousands of dollars in advance, then pay off their remaining debts in installments. This is a total scam, and the slimeball parasites who prey on those workers are among the lowest of the low.
The shit icing on the shit cake is that many of the Chinese workers have minimal (or non-existent) mining experience, so the companies’ protestations that there are no qualified Canadian miners ring hollow.
Unfortunately these scenarios (which are becoming more common in Canada) are not shocking to those who monitor labour issues, but they should be. This is the kind of crap that used to happen around 1912; it should not still be happening in 2012!
The temporary foreign worker program is supposed to be for addressing short-term scarcities of rare but necessary skills, and to provide a dependable pool of seasonal labourers for small family farms and such. Hence the term temporary. Even within that framework, there was plenty of abuse and exploitation, and now the situation is even more severe. Under the Harper Conservatives, the program has transformed into a permanent, year-round source of cheap, desperate, submissive workers for greedy leeches who want to make a quick buck.
There is no shortage of workers or skills in Canada. I repeat: there is no shortage of workers or skills in Canada. THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF WORKERS OR SKILLS IN CANADA! Anyone who claims otherwise is either lying, lazy-minded or has fallen victim to corporate misinformation. There are plenty of able-bodied and able-minded Canadians willing to move, be trained and work hard for decent wages and benefits. There is a shortage of bosses who are willing to pay market wages; properly train Canadian workers; and follow all the labour, safety and environmental laws.
The temporary foreign worker program oppresses workers from other countries, puts Canadians out of work, and drives down wages for all of us. It’s bad enough we have to worry about our jobs being outsourced to other countries; now we also risk losing our jobs due to insourcing!
If you think your job is safe; think again. All sorts of jobs have been outsourced, and all sorts of jobs have been filled by temporary foreign workers. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the number of temporary foreign workers in this country has skyrocketed from 186,753 in 2001 to 446,847 in 2011. The 2012 figures are expected to be even higher. In this globalized neo-feudal plutocracy, almost anyone can be replaced by someone willing to work for Third World wages. If your job or business depends on selling goods or services to regular, non-rich people, you will not make money if your customers can no longer afford your prices.
Despite this impending societal collapse, most Canadians merely shrug their shoulders and say it could be worse. That’s the problem; it could be worse, it is getting worse and it will continue to get worse until workers in Canada and around the world say “enough is enough” and react accordingly.
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner
A rare gem in canadian politics.