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Saskatchewan News

Temporary foreign workers take up 65 per cent of new jobs in Sask

NDP Leader says focus should be on training First Nations and Metis
Reported by Kevin Martel
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Many of the new jobs created over the last four years in Saskatchewan have gone to temporary foreign workers.

New research compiled by the Canadian Labour Congress outlines how 65 per cent all of net jobs created went to those outside the country.

Industry Canada has recently disputed the numbers, citing a Statistics Canada statement saying temporary foreign workers can't be accurately traced.

“That’s not a sustainable, smart growth plan for the province,” said Saskatchewan NDP Leader Cam Broten in Question Period Wednesday.

Those already living here need to be trained to meet the labour shortage Broten told reporters, adding government efforts to train and employ First Nation and Metis people have failed. He also believes temporary foreign workers should be able to access a permanent immigration stream.

“There has been a greater use of temporary foreign workers in this province [and] right across this country, but especially in Western Canada,” Premier Brad Wall responded.

“That’s not the first priority or preference. But we also have a labour shortage.”

He said they have made greater investments surrounding aboriginal employment and year over year employment is up in that area.

“So we need to look at everything: greater First Nations and Metis engagement in the economy, more immigration. We’ve been working on those two things, and yah, there will be a mix of temporary foreign workers. There has been for some time,” Wall said.

Those with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada will be in Regina on Thursday to speak about the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in the Queen City.