Thank you to all our witnesses for being here today.
As you can see just by your colleagues at the table, this is an incredibly diverse piece of legislation. The five of you would not normally appear before a House of Commons committee together, because we are going right through the gamut here from veterans' issues to the temporary foreign worker program to manufacturing to food. The challenges we have with the process you are now involved in are with the massive and complex nature of this legislation in an omnibus bill.
The challenge we'll have here today—and I won't take up any more time on this—is that in order to understand what the implications are, committee members from all sides of the House, I would say, are somewhat incapable of anticipating what the impacts are going to be for everything from temporary foreign workers all the way through to our veterans. We'll try, but I remove any expectation that the House of Commons is doing a thorough job. That's not possible. We also exist under time limitations.
Mr. Worswick, I want to start with you. Much has been made of the temporary foreign worker program and the potential abuses, as you talked about. We do see these things probably by a minority of employers who are abusing the system, and I mean that in both ways. One is gaming the system to replace Canadians with temporary foreign workers, because, for various reasons, they prefer having temporary foreign workers to giving a job to Canadians. The second side of abuse is abusing the workers themselves. There seem to be opportunities, given the way the program is drawn up right now, for temporary foreign workers to be abused by unscrupulous employers, whatever the number.
Can you offer a fix on the first part that would prevent employers from gaming the system? We saw that with HD Mining, and we have seen it with a number of examples that have made the news. As the current program is designed, it just seems too easy to simply make an “effort” to find a Canadian—not really try—and then simply bring in temporary foreign workers, which was the intention of the employer from the start.