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Senator Ringuette calls on the Senate to address the temporary foreign workers scandal

For Immediate Release


April 16th, 2013


Senator Ringuette calls on the Senate to address the temporary foreign workers scandal


In the Senate Chamber today, Senator Pierrette Ringuette made a statement on the abuse of the temporary workers program by Royal Bank of Canada and iGate and announced her intention to table a motion to address this issue.

The prepared statement is attached.

For more information:


Tim Rosenburgh

Office of Senator Pierrette Ringuette

(613) 943-2248




Senators, as we have seen daily in the media, Canadians are outraged over the actions of the Royal Bank of Canada and iGate Corporation and we should all be outraged by their abuse of the temporary foreign workers program to hire cheap foreign labour at the expense of Canadians who now find themselves unemployed.


I have been warning for years about the lack of oversight with the program.

RBC issued an apology last week with no real actions; it’s not much of an apology to Canadians if they don’t address the actual issue.


It seems odd to me that a company like RBC which had a 1st quarter profit of over $2 billion would have to resort to such tactics. How much profit is needed to justify throwing your fellow citizens and loyal employees out in the cold?


The alleged point of the temporary workers program is to allow companies to fill positions with foreign workers when qualified Canadians are not available to fill the job. According to last StatsCan numbers, there were over 13,000 graduates from Math, Computer and Information Sciences in Canada in just 2010 and over 50,000 enrollments. 


There are Canadians qualified for these jobs, but they cost more, that is the real appeal of the temporary foreign workers program which allows employers to pay 15% less than the local average wage for that position.


There are media reports that 18 of Canada’s 50 biggest employers are using the program and the Alberta Federation of Labour obtained a list of more than 4,000 companies using the fast-track process since April last year.


There are certainly legitimate needs, but how can there be that many companies using the program when we have an unemployment rate of 7.2%.


RBC’s partner and the mastermind behind this fiasco is iGate, an American-based company that specializes in outsourcing work to their India centres. According to their website, this company prides itself on revolutionizing the “IT and Business Process Outsourcing solutions market space”, their whole purpose is to take jobs away from Canadians, and the temporary foreign workers program is, unfortunately, helping them do it.


In 2006, iGate was penalized by the US Department of Justice for discriminating against US citizens in it employment practices, instead favouring non-permanent residents.


There are also concerns over iGate’s treatment of its own workers in Canada, threatening them and using their temporary status to keep them in line.


We all want Canada to be a place for companies to grow and be prosperous, but does it have to be done on the backs of Canadians who just want to make a living?


Later this week I will table a motion and call upon the Senate to undertake a study of the temporary foreign worker program to determine how it can work for our citizens, instead of against them.