‘Canada the Good’ myth exposed: Migrant workers resist debt-bondage

This film premiered (I think) at the 2015 Mexico Metropolis conference. Worth watching for a different take:

Here in Canada, some like to think of the country as “tolerant of diversity,” a champion of human rights and a land of opportunity for those willing to work hard and play by the rules, which are presumed equal and fair. This is the myth of Canada the Good, one that still prevails despite repeated truths to the contrary.

The reality of Canada’s unfair labour system enters the world stage with the international broadcast of Migrant Dreams on Al Jazeera’s Witness which will, throughout the month of May, stream the documentary for free.

Canada maintains its pristine international reputation partly by silencing the people who live the lie. Migrant Dreams asks questions about what Canadian values really look like — by highlighting the voices of those who have long been ignored, marginalized or erased.

At the centre of the documentary are migrant workers in farms across Canada. The film opens a conversation about the relationship between labour, gender, sexuality, race, class and settlement — otherwise known as immigration to Canada.

I use the word settlement to draw our attention to the colonial history and ongoing colonial reality of the Canadian state. This is Indigenous land, much of it remains unceded and stolen. Immigration has become the coded word for settlement — a tactic to erase settler tracks in colonial structures.

via ‘Canada the Good’ myth exposed: Migrant workers resist debt-bondage

Turkey commemorates Holocaust, vows to fight antisemitism

Now if the Turkish government could be more open about the Armenian genocide… Also wonder whether this appeared in Turkish-language media or only in English:

Turkey has voiced resolve in continuing its fight against anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia in a message to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“We commemorate with respect millions of people who lost their lives in the Holocaust which is one of the darkest and most painful eras in the history of humanity,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said, recalling that Jan. 27 had been chosen by the United Nations to commemorate victims of the Holocaust during World War II.

“As it has done so far, our country will continue to fulfill its responsibility to ensure such atrocities are not experienced again and will continue its fight with determination against phenomena, such as anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia which have unfortunately been observed and strengthened,” the ministry said in a written statement released late Jan. 26.

Source: Turkey commemorates Holocaust, vows to fight anti-Semitism – DIPLOMACY

Microsoft’s new B.C. workforce may consist mostly of foreigners: draft plan

Interesting reading:

The freedom of information documents, given to CBC News by a third party who works in the industry, reveal Microsoft Canada initially promised that only only 20 of those 400 new jobs — or five per cent — would go to Canadians. The documents also suggest that, through a variety of programs including the controversial Temporary Foreign Worker program (TFWP), the majority of the new workers would come from abroad.

The plans date from 2013 and 2014, and include letters and briefing notes from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and British Columbia’s Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training. They show:

150 positions would be open to both Canadians and foreigners as “rotational employees” who would be brought in under the TFWP program with “no guaranteed number of Canadians.”

200 “core employees” would be brought in at the “executive [level], management or those with specialized knowledge,” but the company only committed that 10 per cent of those 200 core employees would be Canadian. The document states the number of Canadians “is likely to grow over time.”

50 positions would go to “foundry employees” — paid student interns from Canadian universities. But the document stipulates that some of those students could be international students, and do not have to be Canadians.

The documents also show that, in the planning stages, most of the 200 “core” employees at the Microsoft Centre of Excellence were expected to be foreign workers from three categories: intra-company transfers (people who have worked at least one year for Microsoft abroad); those brought in under the TFWP; and contract workers hired abroad who qualify to work in Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

…In December, CIC told CBC News “most” of the 400 jobs would be held by Canadians.

However, in a written statement yesterday, Microsoft Canada made no such promise. Instead, the company said a majority of its current workforce in Vancouver is Canadian, but that may not last for long.

“[As] we hire staff for our new excellence centre, we will be recruiting talent from around the world (in addition to Canada), which may result in that balance shifting,” officials with the company wrote.

Despite requests from CBC News, neither Microsoft Canada nor B.C.’s jobs ministry provided any updated ratios of foreign to Canadian workers.

In an email, a spokesman for B.C. Jobs Minister Shirley Bond said the training centre will provide a “net benefit” by bringing in “at least $90 million annually for up to 10 years.”

Bond’s spokesman said no Canadians would be displaced from their jobs by the creation of the centre — although he would not say what proportion of the new positions would go to Canadians, calling that “proprietary information” belonging to Microsoft.

Seems like CIC may have exaggerated the initial job figures (doesn’t necessary mean that longer-term impact greater).

Microsoft’s new B.C. workforce may consist mostly of foreigners: draft plan – Politics – CBC News.

Temporary Foreign Workers: Film, TV industry assured timely permits

Another sector adversely affected but whose concerns appear reasonable for the Government:

Christian Allen, the chair of the Commercial Production Association of Western Canada, has been calling on the government to give the film and TV industry the same exemption it recently gave musicians.

“The meeting was incredibly positive. The government is very aware of the issues and is responding by working with us to correct the problems as quickly as possible.”

A spokesperson for Alexander would not say what action the minister agreed to take but said he acknowledged the economic contribution the film and TV industry brings to the Canadian economy.‎

“Minister Alexander met with representatives from the television and film industry in Vancouver yesterday [Wednesday] because he understands the sector creates jobs and economic opportunity for Canadians.

It was clear that some of their concerns predate our government’s reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program,” Codie Taylor told CBC News in an email Thursday.

Temporary Foreign Workers: Film, TV industry assured timely permits – Politics – CBC News.