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Growing unemployment in Canada!! Genuine crises or fudging of system to hire migrants as ‘cheap labour’

Krishan Khuranna as Told to ANM

Tale of a Canadian citizen with Canadian degree and Canadian work experience, also a citizenship who cannot be hired while those with a visitor visa can be, because they are paying money to the consultant

I landed in Canada just by chance. I was a loan officer at a bank in Jeddah in early 1990s. While working  as a data entry operator I was looking for options to migrate and I was motivated to see my colleague, who was filling up the form for Canadian immigration sought my help.  Later, I applied myself and got a quick response within two months.

Moving to Canada was easy…

The immigration officers  would travel for the interview back then to different countries. With my boss’ positive reference letter and a couple of questions, both in English and French, I was given the visa. I think it was just a formality. All they needed to see was my documents. They sent my paperwork to Canadian embassy in Riyadh.

They also needed police and medical clearance. In Jeddah, those are not easy to get but a friend referred me, so things fell into place. I moved to Canada in the November of 1992. My father was very angry with me. He did not want me to move to Canada but wanted to me to go to the US, as he was there. My father moved to various countries due to his work but I stayed back in Saudi Arabia as I had a good job at the bank. When my father was transferred again to the US and eventually settled there he wanted me to shift to the US but I was too enamoured with the prospect of shifting to Canada.

Ordeal of job hunt in Canada

I came to Montreal as I was fluent in French and thought it might be easier to get work. First 1-2 years, I did not get any work. I exhausted all my savings and eventually, got temporary assignments with the Income Tax block which was a seasonal work with a very small salary. Then a temporary employment agency helped me get a credit collector’s job but that did not last long as I did not enjoy the work. Eventually, I joined a hotel as a night auditor, thanks to the friendly interviewer who was impressed by my work at the bank.

I switched over to Airlines industry and joined one of the top most airlines  in Canada, thanks to a reference from my colleague.

Sadly, for me, soon 9/11 happened and the airlines decided to lay off as their business was going down but they allowed their employees to keep the benefit of indefinite travel. I went to visit my parents in America and then decided to move to Vancouver. I had got married in Montreal but my marriage did not last long. I then came to Vancouver and went around handing out my resumes. Finally, I got a position with another airlines in Canada as customer service agent. I worked there for about a decade but layoffs started there too as the airline industry was in doldrums. They were letting the highly paid people go and wanted to hire younger people so they could pay them less at the start. They offered us a package, which that time seemed exorbitant. Therefore, I took the package and left. That was the biggest blunder of my life, in fact the second one, first being coming to Canada. My father was very angry with me for making foolish choices. It was a union job and I was at a seniority. It would not have been easy for them to let me go but I made their job easier.

Then started another round of resume writing and handing them out. After a lot of struggles and running around, I got a job with another Airlines as a customer service agent. However, that did not last long either as Covid happened and the airlines was closed for four months. Therefore, they had to let the staff go. Now, I am jobless again and looking for something. Nevertheless, things have changed now.

Ironically there are many job postings on the web but those are all fake jobs. All they want today are international students, who they can make work for 40 hours a week and pay for 20 hours. The students know this and are ready to be exploited. They are young, energetic and work long hours without breaks. It is sad state of affairs that Canadian citizens with their so-called “Canadian experiences” are available to work, yet students are preferred.

Cause for unemployment in Canada

Another reason why people like me are sitting idle is that LMIAs are being sold to the highest bidder, sometimes up to $20,000 or more. What is LMIA you would ask? It is Labour Market Impact Assessment. A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker. A positive LMIA will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It will also show that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available to do the job. Therefore, what the employers do is advertise for a few days or weeks, do not hire anyone even if they receive hundreds of resumes and then ask for a foreign worker. This foreign worker may be the one who they know and is ready to shell money to get a work visa in Canada. Moreover, I am not alone. There are many Canadian citizens sitting unemployed due to the misuse of LMIA program.

I am unemployed for several months now. I see the same postings repeatedly but not a single call for an interview from the same company I have applied few times. I have a Canadian degree, Canadian experience and citizenship yet I cannot be hired but someone with a visitor visa can because he is paying money to the consultant. I see students who are married, with kids come here on a student visa and do these kinds of starting jobs. Their modus operandi is – come here as a visitor, look for a consultant who will look for a job for a price and eventually get work permits.

I have sent hundreds of resumes but not a single job offers in return. It hurts despite so much experience. I can see they are posting again and again yet they are not hiring. Students are cheaper too so companies prefer them. They are abusing the system and coming as Permanent Residents. I have seen students who are married with kids who are 35-40 years. Foreign workers are ready to be abused. I have a Canadian degree and experience; they are hiring accountant from India because he pays the consultant $$$ so he is hired. Canadian government is relaxed with visitor visa. They come here as visitors, then look for jobs, hire consultants, get work permits.

The reason Temporary foreign worker scheme was introduced was to get skilled labour force into Canada. Now, it is merely exploiting the system because of which citizens like me are suffering.  I know I am not alone. I have plenty of friends in the same boat as I am.

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