Thank you very much for presenting to us today. This is a subject that has been very near and dear to our hearts since we started the temporary foreign worker program study. Throughout, the witnesses we heard from shared a common theme. I'm going to keep myself focused to that common theme of not necessarily hiring Canadians. I had a lot of experience with this program, too, during my corporate days. I saw first-hand people being hired. It was quite easy to hire for Tim Hortons, for Wendy's, for McDonald's. It was quite easy to hire people.
We know back in 2014 there were some challenges, and the program was basically shut down with closed doors and you couldn't make anything happen. I see from your comments that the reforms introduced in 2014, while they contributed to a reduction of temporary foreign workers, the reasons are what is telling for me. You note, for example, that in many cases the department just took the word of employers that they could not find Canadian staff. It was fairly easy to get people on board.
We finished our report and then we filed it. The report was tabled in the House on September 19, 2016.
I'll tell you a quick little story. About two months ago in my riding, one of our local restaurants, a Thai restaurant, had applied to the temporary foreign worker program and it was denied. He came to us and I actually looked into it. I was curious because this is something that we had taken care of, so I actually made the phone call to the temporary foreign worker program. It was quite interesting because, as frustrated as I was, the reason he was turned down was because of the way he advertised. They said, “No, it was too tough. It should be easier for Canadians to apply. You are targeting this only to find somebody in Thailand to cook for you.” I don't know how they got this information, but they said, “In fact, we know that somebody applied who was a culinary graduate in the area and you turned that person down”.
That was very telling. When I look at your comments on the program from before, and my experiences, and the fact that we agreed and have the same recommendations, I am curious to know, when you look at that and you talk about the quality assurance framework, what should that look like? Can you tell us what that should look like?