kenney-cat-thumb-1.png
kenney-cat-thumb-1.png

Jason Kenney and a guy at the Fraser Institute trade blows in Twitter cat fight

You don’t see this everyday: two high-ranking members of Canada’s conservative family taking a run at each other in public. But that’s what Employment Minister Jason Kenney and Fraser Institute Senior Fellow Mark Milke have just done over the government’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program. It began when Kenney took exception to an Edmonton Journal article about a […]

September 13, 2014

You don’t see this everyday: two high-ranking members of Canada’s conservative family taking a run at each other in public.

But that’s what Employment Minister Jason Kenney and Fraser Institute Senior Fellow Mark Milke have just done over the government’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

It began when Kenney took exception to an Edmonton Journal article about a McDonald’s franchise in Alberta calling for public protests over Kenney’s new TFW rules.

So, Kenney tweeted out his opinion:

1kenney-ej.png

Milke, the former director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, didn’t like what he read on Kenney’s feed, so he weighed in on behalf of all the hypothetical hotel owners in Banff who would rather bring in foreign workers than raise wages to attract unemployed Canadian workers:

2milke01.png

Exacerbate? Jason Kenney was confused.

How could someone from a “free market” think tank like the Fraser Institute claim to stand for freedom at the same time as it argues it’s the government’s role to provide an endless supply of low-wage foreign workers to fancy hotels?

Isn’t that hypocritical?

3kenney03.png

Poppycock!  You see, it’s only a “government intervention” when it applies to restrictions on businesses that business owners don’t like (particularly if you run a five-star hotel in Banff and would like to pay your workers less money).

We also learned that people from Atlantic Canada (apparently) don’t care about high wages. Or maybe they’re just unreliable? 

4kenney-milke-01.png

The conversation then shifted to the topic of borders.

The guy from the Fraser Institute assured us that although it might sound like he’s calling for the abolition of all borders and immigration controls to help businesses drive down wages, it was not “sane” to expect “complete open borders.”

In response, Kenney accused Milke of wanting to “replicate the Gulf States’ labour market model,” alluding to the crummy labour conditions of, say, migrant workers in Dubai:

5kenney-milke02.png

That’s when Milke proceeded to tell Kenney that, with respect, he was being absurd and unreasonable.

Kenney, apparently forgetting about his own government’s hand in expanding the use of TFWs in McJobs, said (with no hint of irony) that it’s wrong to “facilitate cheap labour.”

6kenney-milke04.png

The two weren’t done.

7kenney-milke05.png

A pointed question for the guy who works for the “data-driven” Fraser Institute — where is the data?

But this was a trick question:

8kenney04.png

It seemed that Kenney was winning the debate.

But that’s when the guy from the Fraser Institute revealed a secret weapon: a recent Fraser Institute report that kids with university degrees are to blame for an apparent labour shortage in Canada and the need for TFW.

Because obviously the problem is all those egghead millenials would rather read books all day than make $40/hr at a hotel or in a restauraunt kitchen. This, at a time when unemployment remains high for young workers and precarious, temporary jobs are increasingly replacing good quality full-time jobs:

9kenney-milke06_0.png

But in fairness to the Fraser Institute, here’s what Jason Kenney said about the cited study when it came out:

10kenney-interesting.png

And what’s the guy from the Fraser Institute’s response to Kenney’s statement about an “untested” and “ridiculous” claim?

It doesn’t matter. Those are just words:

11milke03.png

Settled?

Invest in our work

We break news and shine a light on stories Canada’s major media outlets miss. But we need your help to keep making an impact.

Subscribe to our Friday Newsletter

Too busy to follow the daily news? Get the inside scoop on the entire week’s news sent to your email inbox every Friday at noon.

Invest in our work

We break news and shine a light on stories Canada’s major media outlets miss. But we need your help to keep making an impact.

thumb_screen_shot_2014-09-11_at_9.43.57_am-1.png
thumb_screen_shot_2014-09-11_at_9.43.57_am-1.png

3 graphs that show Canada’s deep and persistent wealth inequality

Wealth in Canada is concentrated heavily in the top 10% — with the bottom 30% of Canadians accounting for less than 1% of all wealth and the bottom half accounting for less than 6%, a new study has found. The analysis, conducted by the Broadbent Institute, is based on custom Statistics Canada data from the […]

September 11, 2014

Wealth in Canada is concentrated heavily in the top 10% — with the bottom 30% of Canadians accounting for less than 1% of all wealth and the bottom half accounting for less than 6%, a new study has found.

The analysis, conducted by the Broadbent Institute, is based on custom Statistics Canada data from the agency’s Survey of Financial Security, a snapshot of the distribution of assets, debts and net worth of Canadians.

The top 10% of…