TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 8, 2011) - Conservative leader Tim Hudak is scraping the bottom of the political barrel by suggesting measures to address systemic labour market barriers facing Ontario newcomers will put Ontario-born workers out of work says Ontario Federation of Labour.
"This is just another variation of old-fashioned racism," said OFL President Sid Ryan. "Hudak is scapegoating immigrants rather than addressing the real challenges facing Ontario's workers."
"Hudak is deliberately peddling the racist myth that newcomers take away jobs. The reality is that immigration creates jobs for everyone working in Ontario," said Ryan. "What's tragic is the fact that while we insist on recruiting some of the most highly skilled workers from around the world, we aren't able to utilize their training and expertise once they arrive. Too often these workers are shut out of the labour market simply for lack of Canadian experience."
"By targeting 'foreign workers,' Hudak is engaging in dog-whistle politics. He is throwing red meat out to embolden a tiny minority who subscribe to bigoted ideas," said Ryan. "Every Ontarian—regardless of how long they have lived here—is united in the desire for a decent future for current and future generations."
According to an academic study, Economic Recession and Immigrant Labour Market Outcomes in Canada, 2006-2011, published in July 2011: "Recent immigrants have borne the brunt of the recession's impact on the labour market. While recent immigrants fared more poorly in the job market even before the recession, they have been disproportionately affected by rising unemployment, reductions in full time work, and a declining manufacturing base." A full copy of the report of the Toronto Immigrant Employment Data Initiative can be downloaded from: http://www.yorku.ca/tiedi/doc/AnalyticalReport22.pdf.
"Hudak is resorting to the gutter politics of immigrant-bashing in order to distract voters from the Tories' failure to put forward a meaningful job strategy," said Ryan. "Ontarians are absolutely right to be concerned about jobs – and they have a right to demand a more far-sighted vision for full employment than simple xenophobic sloganeering."
The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. OFL President Sid Ryan is the voice of Ontario's labour movement.