NDP calls foul on foreign worker program

Federal NDP MPs are calling for a moratorium on the use of the Temporary Foreign Worker program after a controversy erupted at three McDonald's franchises in Victoria.

Jinny Sims, NDP critic of employment and social development, was joined by Victoria MP Murray Rankin and Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP Randall Garrison in front of the Pandora Street McDonald's on Thursday to make the announcement.

"There are people living here in Canada who are being laid off or having their hours cut to facilitate the use of foreign workers – this needs to end immediately," Sims said.

McDonald's Canada has put its own moratorium on allowing its franchisees to hire temporary foreign workers, and has called on a third party auditor to review its use of the program. The move comes after a Victoria McDonald's employee spoke to the media about losing hours to temporary foreign workers.

McDonald's is now in the process of taking full ownership of the three Victoria franchises.

Sims said the federal Ministry of Employment should take the same action.

"Even McDonald's recognizes there's a problem and has promised to take action – while the government continues to fail Canadians," she said.

McDonald's Canada employs about 3,400 temporary foreign workers, about four per cent of its workforce.

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