Got a couple of emails about my interview on News 91.9 this am. Not particularly positive ones. Let me just reiterate as it seems some folks here what they want to hear not what was actually said.
I understand this is a complex issue. I understand that it is hard to raise a family on a minimum wage job. Based on the data I have seen, I don’t think there are too many families in New Brunswick in that situation. There are some – admittedly – but there was a study out a few years ago that found most people at the minimum wage are students or are part of two-income families.
But that is a deviation from the main point. What I am trying to say is that making it harder to recruit temporary foreign workers doesn’t just miraculously lead to local people filling the jobs. Surprise. Surprise. We need to have a broader discussion about the labour market and about attaching more NBers to the workforce but my research leads me to conclude that clamping down on the TFW program might hurt economic growth – particularly in the larger urban centres. That is not an outcome that makes sense to me.
All of the broader conversation around EI, living wage, poverty reduction, etc. is very important but only loosely part of the very specific discussion around TFWs.