Liberals Want Auditor General to Probe Foreign Workers Program

During the question period in the House of Commons on Monday, the Liberals suggested the government to ask the auditor general to probe the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. The Employment Minister, Jason Kenney suspended the food-service sector from the program over reports of abuse last Thursday, alleging that the restaurant industry is immediately excluded from the program pending an investigation by his department.

Liberal House/Deputy Leader, Ralph Goodale, raised the issue in the House, alleging that the problems with the program are not limited to the food-service sector and recommended the government to go beyond an internal investigation by calling in the auditor general. He said that “we know there are problems, as well, in banking and mining and other industries, too” adding that “over a year ago … Liberals warned about this. To save the program, we asked for full review to get rid of the abuses. The government voted no and the trouble got worse. The department cannot investigate itself. Isn’t it time for the auditor general to get on this file?”

In his response, Kenney replied that the auditor general “is free to investigate whatever he deems appropriate without direction from the government,” highlighting that the government responds when it receives reports of abuse. Kenney stated that “in terms of the program, of course, if and when there are abuses we act clearly and quickly” and so “if we see any distortion of the labour market we are going to address that.”

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