The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has an urgent message about diversity and the workplace:
If you see someone working in a fast food restaurant who has an "accent or a little bit of colour," don't -- repeat don't -- jump to the conclusion that they're a temporary foreign worker. They could, in fact, be a Canadian citizen.
That little nugget of common sense comes to us by way of CFIB president and CEO Dan Kelly, who appeared on CBC Radio's Cross Country Checkup on Sunday to defend the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. What followed was either a sad attempt at playing the race card or a bang on impression of Steve Carrel's bits on diversity from The Office.
Telling CBC's Suhana Meharchand that there is "often another side to the story that is very difficult for an employer to speak out against," Kelly said "one of the things I think is really worrisome right now is that we are actually confusing, I think as Canadians, when we see somebody who has an accent or a little bit of colour in a restaurant location, we may jump to the conclusion that they are a temporary foreign worker when, in fact, they are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident."
"I sure don't jump to that conclusion," a baffled Meharchand responds.
For those of you keeping track of all of this, Dan Kelly's defence of the TFW Program (which has been widely panned for its negative impact on the Canadian labour market as well as its exploitation of vulnerable foreign workers) has now:
- said that Canadian workers have a lousy work ethic;
- said that scrubbing toilets and flipping burgers is beneath the dignity of Canadian citizens;
- and now deflects valid criticisms of the TFW Program by hinting that it's the critics who are ignorant xenophobes.
Have a listen: