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A new report from market research firm C.D. Howe finds that Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program may be affecting the country's unemployment rate.
The Canadian government program allows companies here to employ non-Canadians to fill job openings that can't be filled by a Canadian worker, according to the CBC. In 10 years, the program has grown from 101,000 people to 338,000.
Tim Hortons has responded to the report by releasing a statement about its policy to hire Canadians first. It reads, in part:
"With more than 90,000 Canadian team members in our system, of many different cultural backgrounds, our restaurant owners are one of the country's largest employers of Canadians.
"In a small number of markets, primarily in Western Canada, there are not enough Canadians to fill all the positions and shifts in our restaurants. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is used only after our franchisees have exhausted all efforts to hire Canadians, and have proven that to the government. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program has been a crucial tool to allow our local franchisees in some communities to be able to operate their restaurants and keep all of their employees working ...
Tim Hortons has a strong track record in responsibly using this program. In a few isolated incidents where that has not been the case, we have acted to remove those franchisees from our system. We have not tolerated isolated abuse of Employment Standards for Canadian or Temporary Foreign Workers in the past, and we will not in the future."
The company said it also encourages the Canadian government to conduct mandatory independent audits for every company that uses this program.
Earlier this week, McDonald's Canada announced it was temporarily expanding its foreign worker program as an investigation from the Employment and Social Development Canada takes place.
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