Harper's Chattels: Canadian Economy to Rely on Slave Labour in the Future

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Stephen Harper. Courtesy: Ben Stanstall

By Ann-Marie de Veer
Saturday 19 September 2015

One of the most often cited boasts of Conservative regimes the World over is their perceived economic prowess in balancing a nations budget, delivering a surplus and growing its GDP: the ideology of political Conservatism is rooted in free enterprise, private ownership and the acquisition of capital. Thus, when a Conservative regime presides over a national recession, i.e. a faltering economy not precipitated by events beyond their control or subject to the vagaries of global circumstances, there can be little doubt that those who wield the levers of power have undoubtably lost the plot.

Welcome to Stephen Harper's regime in Canada who is seeking a fourth term in office in the federal elections to be held on 19 October 2015.

Earlier this year the Canadian economy suffered a recession: Harper's mismanagement of the national economy is a matter of public record and clearly demonstrates his fiscal acumen is at best seriously flawed and at worst unequivocal evidence proving his financial incompetence. However, notwithstanding Harper's economic incompetence, it is his insidious plans for the exploitation of current and prospective immigrants who are being used, and will continue to be used, as disposable productive units in facilitating budget surpluses and growth in future administrations. Harper's authoritarian regime has enacted some of the most draconian and inhuman immigration policies ever to be legislated by a Western liberal democracy in its quest to acquire, for a privileged minority who are in positions of power and authority, an even greater share of the capital that will ensue from migrant slave labour.

The Harper threat to the national economy.

When the Canadian economy dipped into recession for the first five months of 2015, given that most of the primary indicators of economic activity recorded negative growth from January until May, the Harper regime hit the panic button. Federal government apparatchiks were immediately instructed not to commit to any more expenditure and return any unspent monies to the federal treasury, thus creating a budget surplus of CAD$1.9 billion instead of a projected deficit. The surplus, assisted in part by a small increase in corporate and personal tax receipts, was primarily funded by an CAD$8.7 billion clawback from programs that had previously been authorised, funded and in some cases publicly announced but yet to start.

The effects of these budget sequestrations, some of which were aimed at education and training, resources to assist the long-term unemployed get back into the workforce and providing essential social security services for the most vulnerable people in society, will not filter through into the economy until after the October federal election.

The Harper solution to growth of the national economy.

On 1 April 2011, Harper burnished his fascist credentials by enacting the 4 in, 4 out rule in changing the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) policy for unskilled and semi-skilled migrants. Previously, foreign worker migrants would enter an implicit contract with their employers who would continue to sponsor their visa applications for as long as both parties were agreeable. The arrangement was also viewed as a path to residency and citizenship for those who had worked for 5 years or more in an unskilled or semi-skilled capacity: migrants would have to prove that they had made appropriate progress in education, training and skills as well as being of sound mind, physically fit and had not broken any laws. In other words, aspiring applicants for residency or citizenship could enter a tacit contract, akin to a vocational apprenticeship, whereupon they would eventually be rewarded for their effort provided they met all the relevant criteria at the time. The precarity of their situation and the meagre salary they were paid during their apprenticeship period was the price they paid for the opportunity to gain the residency or citizenship they sought.

However, Harper's 4 in, 4 out rule, which limits a foreign migrant worker to a maximum of 4 years of work in Canada followed by a minimum of 4 fallow years before another work permit may be granted, is a multi-faceted attack on the rights of migrants under the TFWP. The policy is not only designed to thwart the continuance of mutually agreeable contracts between employers and foreign workers but it also removes a potential path to residency or citizenship for aspiring migrants. However, for Harper's bigoted regime who are known to be profoundly racist, these issues are merely the side effects of a policy with a completely different motive: the primary purpose of the changes to the TFWP rules is to maintain a constant flow of foreign migrant workers, who are invariably employed in unskilled or semi-skilled positions which are poorly paid without any prospect of tenure, to provide the productive units, aka. human capital the economy needs to grow.

In other words, the Canadian economy of the future will be founded on Harper's implementation of 21st Century slave labour, i.e. Temporary Foreign Worker Program migrants will be little more than chattels to be hired and fired at will.

Now, who was it that said slavery had been abolished?

You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.
William Wilberforce