International students in Canada accuse the Trudeau government of exploiting them as cheap labour and discarding them when they are no longer needed.
Last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government permitted approximately 50,000 international students to stay in Canada for 18 months after graduation to seek jobs when the economy was reopening following Covid shutdowns and businesses needed to hire.
The administration marketed the permit extension as a way to “assist more graduates in meeting pressing requirements” in important areas and earn the work experience required for permanent immigration.
However, a year and a half later, some of these prospective permanent residents still needed help to work or remain in the country due to an Immigration backlog.
“I’m just sitting at home and surviving off of my own money, Daniel D’Souza, an accountant and former Seneca College student near Toronto, said in an interview.
“I’m sorry I chose Canada to immigrate to, study and live in.” Canada should value foreign students more than only as a source of cheap labour.”
Liberals Failing on Promises to International Student
The department of Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has stated that it is looking into methods to better support foreign students who want to stay in the country permanently.
International students contribute “tremendous social, cultural, and economic benefits,” according to government spokesperson Jeffrey MacDonald in an emailed statement.
D’Souza’s career, like many other graduates in the 2021 program, has been halted, and his future is uncertain.
These former students, many of whom were from India and the Philippines, were forced to abandon their occupations when their work permits expired, with no certainty of obtaining permanent status.
Even if their applications are eventually approved, they will be without a job, income, or health and social benefits for months.
“They took advantage of us when they needed us.” But when we need their assistance, nobody shows up,” said Anshdeep Bindra, a former Ernst & Young consultant in Toronto.
“We pay fees and taxes but receive nothing in return.” You don’t acknowledge us assisting you in resolving the labour shortage.”
Canada’s Aging Workforce
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, which plans to allow a huge number of new immigrants over the next 3 years to counter an aging workforce, is slated to reveal updated targets in Toronto on Tuesday morning.
“Those who benefit from these public measures have the same or, in many cases, better opportunity to gain competent work experience than graduates did before the pandemic,” MacDonald said.
The International student grads hoped that the permission extension would offer them more time to gather Canadian job experience and improve their scores in the country’s skilled worker immigration ranking system.
However, these graduates became entangled in a backlog of applications, resulting in a 10-month shutdown of the government system to process them.
When the system was reopened, the students found themselves competing against pools of immigrants with far higher-than-average scores, lowering their prospects of obtaining permanent status.
The short delay allowed the system to catch up, according to the immigration department, and “limiting or pausing invitations to apply to manage expanding inventories is precisely what the system was designed to do.”
According to the agency, approximately 40% of all permanent residents received in 2021 were former international students, a record.
Permanent residency backlog
According to Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, 26,250 invitations to apply for permanent residency have been granted since July of this year, with 10,212 of them going to international students or graduates.
But that’s no consolation for those who are still waiting – or for their former bosses. “Now the company will have to locate another individual to replace me when I’m already here,” said Leovilee Dustin, a real estate agent in Caledonia, Ontario.
“It appears they simply want us to work here to collect our taxes and get rid of us.”
According to the government, international students contribute more than C$21 billion ($15.3 billion) annually to the economy. Also, tens of thousands of graduates who choose to immigrate permanently become a source of young, educated workers.
According to Royal Bank of Canada economists in a paper released last month, they can also play an important role in addressing the current labour shortage and future job-market demands.
According to Amira Ali, a leasing consultant for a property management company in Calgary, the government should “prioritize people who paid for college or university in Canada, have experience here, and are connected with employers here.”
“They’re putting us in a bind and leaving us with no options.”