‘Foreign workers’

Adam Radwanski watches Jason Kenney watching Tim Hudak.

On Thursday, federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney – the point man for federal Conservative efforts to reach out to new Canadians – used much milder language than Mr. Hudak in expressing concern about Mr. McGuinty’s promise. The previous night, at a rally, Mr. Kenney applauded Mr. Hudak’s line about “foreign workers.” But glancing around him, he looked slightly uncomfortable as he did so.

Dalton McGuinty thinks Tim Hudak should apologize for his language.




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‘Foreign workers’

  1. Both Hudak and Kenney should be ashamed of themselves, but I’m sure they won’t be. They’ll both still claim to be christians too, but they aren’t that either,

  2. I think Dalton should apologize to Ontarian’s for lying about not raising taxes. I also think Dalton should apologize for pitting foreign workers against long-time residents. All he needs to do is admit the policy is a terrible one that was meant to pander to ethnic communities.

    I also think Dalton should fire Warren Kinsella for repeatedly accusing Hudak of being a racist (this is coming from a guy who posts swastika’s on his website, believes that Chinese restaurants serve dog-meat, and posts every vile racist thing that’s ever been put on the Internet on his own website).

    • So….ignorance is going to be the Con stance on this eh?

      • I’ll spell it out for you because you don’t seem to understand anything that you “read”:

        Dalton McGuinty has a record that he should be apologizing for. He’s been lying to voters since the day he took office.

        That’s the polar opposite of ignorance, it’s called being informed.

        • Dalton McGuinty has done very well by Ontario, and has nothing to apologize for….Hudak is a tea party candidate who would take us backwards.

          • LOL. Dalton McGuinty saw Ontario go from a “have” province, to a “have-not” province. He oversaw the brutal treatment of his fellow citizens at the G-20. The Unemployment rate in Ontario has skyrocketed under McGuinty. All this while raising taxes across the board, and running a massive deficit with no plan to reach a balanced budget anytime soon.

            If that’s where the bar is set for doing “very well”, then I think Hudak would be an absolutely amazing Premier. In fact, I think it would be bloody difficult to do any worse!

            BTW – The Tea Party smear didn’t work against Ford, and it didn’t work against Harper. This is because everybody knows there is no Tea Party movement in Canada, it’s a purely American phenomenon. You Liberals are out to lunch.

          • Ontario was have-not before McGuinty…we just weren’t allowed any rebates.

            Harper was in charge of G20 security…McGuinty simply used the same law that affects Union Station and other public areas.

            Yes, the bottom fell out of manufacturing in Ontario…it did in the US as well. This is hardly McGuinty’s fault.  GM etc are private companies, not govt-owned.

            Nobody here is concerned about the deficit….they’re concerned about jobs.  The ones Hudak wants to cancel.

            If you think ‘tea party’ is a smear, then you know what you are, and that it’s not liked.

            Reform was the original Tea Party.

          • I mostly agree with OE1, except for the part about Reform being the original Tea Party.  Reform had coherent economic & political platforms (based on what I think were faulty assumptions, but given those assumptions, were coherent), didn’t seek to inflict their religious beliefs on the education system, and were, overall, one of the more civilized parts of the Conservative spectrum of their day.

            I think a major factor in Ontario’s economic woes were due to massive off-shoring of white-collar middle-class jobs to India, which was totally missed by the media, as well as a number of take-overs and mergers in cultural industries such as publishinig that greatly reduced the number & pay scale of jobs in these industries, also totally missed by the media. 

          • You mean people are worried about the jobs lost under McGuinty. Trying to blame the future leader of the province for what happened in the past is stupid. McGuinty has been an utter failure, and the voters know it.

          • Trying to blame McGuinty for GM’s goofs is absurd.

            McGuinty is bringing in new jobs to replace the old ones, and Hudak wants to cancel the new ones.

            I don’t intend to argue the election with you. You’ll never vote for anything sensible anyway.

    • Given that the Liberal proposal only applies to workers who are A) citizens of Canada, and B) have been here for five years or less, is referring to said citizens as “foreign workers” really appropriate???

      Also, given that Tim Hudak PERSONALLY tabled a private members bill which proposed giving tax credits to businesses to encourage them to hire recent immigrants, isn’t Hudak’s real problem with the Liberals an issue of copyright infringement???? 

      I mean, come on now.  The man’s own bill was called the “Newcomers Employment Opportunities Act” and it had a whole section entitled the “Newcomers employment opportunity tax credit” which, so far as I can tell, lays out a program pretty much the same philosophically as the one the Tories are now attacking the Liberals for.  So, has Hudak changed his mind about the appropriateness of these kinds of tax credits?  Or, is he hypocritically and cynically attacking the Liberals for proposing something he’s already proposed himself, while hoping that no one remembers him proposing the same thing himself?  Then again, this is Tim Hudak we’re talking about.  I shouldn’t discount the possibility that he never actually read his own private members bill before tabling it.

      • Do you find the term “foreign worker” offensive somehow? This is another example of the Liberals being incapable of responding to criticism of their policies without accusations of racism.

        If Hudak’s private members bill was the same thing, why didn’t the Liberals adopt it then? If it’s good policy now, why wasn’t it good policy then? Doesn’t this make McGuinty the Xenophobic racist, since the only value he sees in the bill is pandering to ethnic minorities during election time?

        I’d also suggest there is a huge difference between tabling a private members bill, and putting the policy front and center in your election campaign. I’d even go so far as to suggest that McGuinty is lying when he says he’d implement this bill. He didn’t the last time the same policy was debated, so believing he would after an election defies logic.

        But McGuinty has built his political career around strategically lying to voters, so I guess more of the same shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

        • A “foreign worker” by definition is here on a temporary work visa, and doesn’t have landed immigrant status or citizenship.  It’s not an offensive term, just the wrong one.

        • OF COURSE referring to Canadian citizens as “foreign” is offensive!!!  How can it possibly not be offensive to point to a citizen of Canada and say “that’s a ‘foreign worker’”???  I don’t understand what’s so nuanced about that.  A Canadian politician referring to a citizen of Canada as a foreigner is offensive.  That’s not rocket science.

          If Hudak’s private members bill was the same thing, why didn’t the
          Liberals adopt it then? If it’s good policy now, why wasn’t it good
          policy then?

          Who’s to say the Liberals wouldn’t have adopted it?  It only got past first reading!  As for “if it’s good policy now, why wasn’t it good
          policy then” I would ask the reverse of Hudak.  If Hudak felt it was good policy when he introduced the idea in June of 2010, what intervened subsequently to make it suddenly become a racist horror???

          • Hudak didn’t say it was a racist horror. All the “racist” scaremongering is coming from the same perpetually outraged sources as dreamt up this bit of political trolling in the first place. 

          • Well, obviously I was using hyperbole there, but you can hardly deny that the Tories have been using some hyperbole as well.  After all, how can you oppose a scheme to help employers pay for the additional costs of hiring new immigrants, after having previously PROPOSED a scheme to help employers pay for the additional costs of hiring new immigrants, without straying in to hyperbole!

            If Hudak hadn’t characterized the Liberal plan as “divisive” and as giving an unfair advantage to “foreign workers” how could anyone have distinguished the Liberal plan to give tax credits to employers who hire new immigrants from the Tory plan to give tax credits to new employers who hire new immigrants?

            I do agree that the charges of “racism” are completely over the top and inappropriate, but I can certainly understand why people might have a problem with the Tories continuing to refer to Canadian citizens as “foreign” even after it was made clear that this issue is about CANADIAN CITIZENS.

          • replying to LKO

            It seems to me that Hudak’s proposal was designed as reimbursement for a specific expense whereas McGuinty’s proposal/bait was simply a cash reward for favouring newcomers over long-term taxpayers when making hiring decisions.

            The Liberals were trolling and Hudak took the bait. If I were still capable of being offended by the creepiness of politicans, I’d judge the bait more offensive than the prey.

      • Hudak’s bill is a pretty familiar tactic.

        It’s introduced, in the leader’s name, but not actually advanced. When asked how he supports immigrants, Hudak can point to his Bill. Assuming he only gets asked by those who actually support this kind of thing, it works as part of an outreach strategy.

        The Liberals one upped him by not only endorsing the idea – but increasing the scale and making it part of their platform. Now it’s out there in the open and the now publicly known Bill becomes an albatross for Hudak. He can no longer whisper it to some select groups and it undermines his credibility when he opposes the Liberal proposal. The fact that his opposition has been couched in such xenophobia is just gravy.

        As for why the Liberals opposed the Bill – the short answer is that they didn’t. Hudak introduced it, spoke a few words at the time, but it never came up for debate. This is likely by Hudak’s own design.

      • LKO,

        2 things:

        1) As I understand the PMB you linked to, Hudak’s credit was specifically to cover language training paid by the employer. It was not a blanket $10K gift as I understand McGuinty’s proposal to be. Hudak’s bill did not create an incentive for an employer to hire one person of a different race or ethnic background over another to get a tax windfall; the tax credit is to cover money they pay to give language training, so no net benefit; whereas I believe McGuinty’s does (please correct me if I’m mistaken).

        2) Forgetting point 1 above for a minute…if we accept the argument that Hudak’s bill was the same in spirit, and he was trying to accomplish the same thing as McGuinty, isn’t it fair to say then that these reports keying on the words “foreign workers” to try to paint Hudak as some sort of racist are complete bullsh!t and just more of the usual “Conservatives=racist” garbage narrative that we’ve come to expect from our useless pool of journalists?

        • On the first point, my understanding is that the McGuinty proposal is for education and training purposes as well, though this was perhaps not articulated properly initially out on the stump.  I believe they’ve clarified that point now but  could be wrong.

          I do also agree that charges of “racism” are WAY over the top, however, I do tend to think that once the Tories found out that the Liberal plan was for Canadian citizens only, which the Liberals have made crystal clear now, that they should have then immediately stopped referring to said citizens as “foreign workers” which the Tories did not.  The reaction to the Tories continuing to refer to Canadian citizens as “foreign workers” or “foreigners” has arguably been hyperbolic, but I do take the point that referring to Canadian citizens as “foreign” or “foreigners” shouldn’t be considered kosher, and the Tories should have dropped that rhetorical flourish the MOMENT it was made clear that the Liberal plan was only for citizens.  It’s not objectionable to refer to foreign workers as “foreign”, however, it is objectionbable to refer to Canadian citizens as “foreign”, and to the extent that Tories were still calling those eligible for this program “foreign workers” after it was made clear that only Canadian citizens can apply (which they did, and in some cases are still doing) that needs to be corrected.  Especially given the number of NP comments still appearing on these stories saying things like “if these foreigners don’t like being called foreigners they should go back home” about CANADIAN CITIZENS.

      • Workers who are A) citizens of Canada, and B) have been here for five
        years or less.

        This was a quick change McGuinty made to his policy.
        Let’s take a look at this change, shall we?

        You can’t apply for citizenship until you’ve lived in Canada for 3
        years…then once you do, the current
        processing time
        for citizenship application processing is 19
        months.

        This leaves a maximum of 5 month applicability window…basically open
        to people who have lived here between 4yrs 7mos, and 5 years (assuming
        you submit your citizenship application on the day you become eligible).

        So what exactly is the point of this program again?

        • John G asks, “So what exactly is the point of this program again?”

          The Liberals are race-baiting. Nothing more complicated than that.

          • But you just said it wasn’t racist.

            And in a province with the most immigrants, Libs would hardly be doing that. LOL

          • “Race-baiting” is what the Liberals were doing. “Racism” is the response that they were hoping to inspire. Two different things.

          • @Igarvin

            It’s not about race, it’s about skills. Hudak tried to create bad feelings and resentment in the immigrant community over it.

             That doesn’t work because ‘race’ or ‘former nationality’ isn’t involved.

        • I think the main problem for the Liberals is that they were basically trying to just take Hudak’s own proposal and make it a little more generous. 

          Yes they’re moving on the fly now, but I think that’s because the Liberals never thought that Hudak would FREAK OUT over a proposal that they felt was simply mirroring his own.

          • I think the Liberal’s proposal was designed precisely to cause Hudak to FREAK OUT. In fact, it had no other purpose as far as I can tell. Any political platform has the tensile strength of toilet paper but this particular piece was pre-scented.

          • So, you figure the Liberals deliberately left the policy vague, waited for Hudak and his team to say something stupid in response, then clarified the policy and pounced when the stupid Tory rhetoric continued unabated?

            It’s a bit convoluted, but actually totally plausible.

            Personally though, I still think I’d lean towards supporting the party that came up with that cunning and devious plan over supporting the party that could be confidently relied upon to say something stupid.

        • “You can’t apply for citizenship until you’ve lived in Canada for 3
          years…then once you do…”

          Maybe this is the Liberals changing the proposal on the fly, but I got the impression that the idea was about paying for the training of people who are hired after having been CITIZENS for less than 5 years.  So, that the idea is that the five year clock for the business to take advantage of this tax credit starts when the perspective hire became a CITIZEN, not the moment they entered the country.

  3. I might support a program like this, if it was limited to professions & trades where there is a demonstrated shortage, and if it was limited to the costs incurred by an employer in getting the qualifications of recent immigrations in line with Canadian standards.  I’d also like it to be followed by action to streamline the process for foreign qualifications to be recognised.

    Because, let’s face it, we’ve off-shored so many skilled jobs in the last decade or two that we’ll have to start importing individuals from the countries they went to if we want any skilled employees in Canada.

    • It is limited to skilled needed professions….like medicine and engineering. A first job allows Canadian ‘experience’.  Saves them from being cabdrivers.

      Off-shoring isn’t that big a deal in Canada.  It is in the US.

    • It is designed to address a major hole in the qualification process by providing a means for the immigrant to get the work experience required in order to actually proceed through same.

      Politicians have been paying lip service to addressing this issue for years, it’s time someone actually did something about it. We have sufficient people to drive cab and tend tables. If we’re going to be bringing people who are Engineers and Doctors into the country our focus at the governmental level should be on ensuring that they can actually be Engineers and Doctors.

      Otherwise, what’s the point?

      • If that’s your purpose, then target the money and the effort at the actual obstacle; the governing bodies of the various professions. Throwing money around in a flurry only rewards those with the quickest hands and, not incidentally, those closest to the source.

        • Actually, the money is being targeted specifically at the employers who can provide the work experience required by the governing bodies.

          That’s not throwing around, that’s focused fire.

  4. I don’t envy Ontario voters:  Liars to the left, idiots to the right, and an untenable third party still paying for the errors of the current federal Liberal leader.  Youch.  Do you have a Rhino option?

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