May 30, 2012, Ottawa — Mexico wants to increase its foreign workforce in Canada, despite the Conservative government’s new employment insurance rules that aim to fill vacant jobs with unemployed Canadians instead.
Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa pressed for the expansion of the temporary workers programs to sectors other than agriculture during a visit today to Ottawa.
Seasonal workers from Mexico have provided a source of labour to the Canadian agricultural sector since the mid-1970s.
Espinosa said she envisions expanding the program to the service and hospitality sectors, as well as construction. She brushed aside suggestions that Ottawa’s proposed EI changes might make that more difficult for Mexico.
The government has recently announced changes to the EI system, and has said that bringing in temporary foreign workers is not acceptable if there are Canadians willing to work.