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Canadian Bait Pilots Ending Foreign Worker Abuse

Guest JetboxJockey

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I don't have an issue with foreign pilots working in Canada, to the extent that they bring in an expertise that is hard to find elsewhere, which is what most Canadian pilots working overseas offer. However, most of the foreign pilots being "imported" are in the 1000-3000 experience range. They don't bring a very high level of expertise and many (if not most) come here with lots of mustering experience or even VFR SIC experience and not much real bush and turbine experience, but because employers can say they meet minimums, they hire them. This directly impacts the potential for Canadian low-time pilots to move ahead by reducing the impetus for operators to develop talent from within. This industry is shooting itself in the foot with it's very short-sighted vision.


We are a nation of immigrants. If a person chooses to make Canada their home and obtains permanent resident status, I say welcome aboard. I can't blame people from abroad from wanting to work wherever they can even if it's for peanuts so they can gain experience. I would have done the same when I was starting out. It's the system and the employers who abuse it that are to blame.

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Ok ill bite!


I am a foreigner who has worked in Canada. I get paid the same and do the same tours as everyone else.


Just remember a lot of us work all over the world not just in our country of origin!


I love working in Canada and hope I can continue to do so.


I world certainly not travel half way around the world for #### money and #### conditions!!

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Here in lies the next problem. The foreign pilot arrives ,works and stays. One less position eliminated from the up and coming VFR pilot. Said pilot gets into a management position and has plenty of mates looking for work from back home. More positions eliminated from this already hard to get into career. Pilot gets resume from a Canadian 403 hour pilot takes time to plastic it, send it and have a good old laugh with instructor buddy. Then proceeds to paint every Canadian pilot with the same " Lazy sense of entitlement brush"


I worked with a ton of young hard working Canadians that where paid the sh!ts and did what every it took, myself being one of them so your story holds about as much water as a strainer. As far as Canadians working over seas. I know a few and they are making good money with fair rotations. Once that starts happening here in Canada we may be more inclined to stop sabre rattling the foreign hire issue. But your mates keep coming working 42 on and 42 on for crap money.


Now we are not just screwing the young up and coming, we are also screwing over the guys who have finally got over the big hour hump and want a rotation. Nope no deal! we have a guy who will work the whole summer and you (The Canadian sense of entitlement cry baby) want to see your wife and kids.


Its sad I have a friend who's son couldn't get a job at Dairy Queen because the manager was a Filipino who was in charge of hiring. Guess who did and didn't get the job. It's only going to get worse.

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Red seal trades, I think that's where it's at for young people today. This downward trend in the helicopter business hasn't just happened this week. I started off in engineering and earn't the money to pay for my training. It seem's you need more than one string to your bow to get by these days...

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But look at the issues the TFW programs are causing in trades too. The mine in Tumbler Ridge that brought in all the Chinese for cheap, and issues in Fort Mac with crews being replaced with Irish TFWs, again for cheap.

The program needs to be re-written.

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Just found this on Facebook.




Helicopter pilots say they're shut out of jobs by temporary foreign workers



OTTAWA - Canadian helicopter pilots say they're being denied jobs in favour of cheaper temporary foreign workers as alarm bells grow ever louder about the integrity of the embattled federal program.


"The saddest and most outrageous part is that this will slowly kill the industry," Bill Wadsworth, a helicopter pilot in Mayne Island, B.C., with 25 years experience, said in an interview Wednesday.


Wadsworth said he recently applied for several jobs at B.C. companies that he learned had subsequently sought temporary foreign workers. In each case, he was told there were no openings.


He also said he frequently sees job postings for pilots that offer hourly rates well below the industry standard, a practice he said drives down wages.


"They're leveraging the foreign workers against the Canadian pilots, essentially threatening Canadians by saying: 'We're paying these guys so little and we're only going to pay you 10 dollars an hour more. So you either go with the flow here or we're hiring TFWs and you're out of work.'"


The situation provides employers with no incentives to bring along rookie Canadian pilots by providing training, Wadsworth added — a state of affairs that he warned could sound the death knell for the industry.


Kirsten Brazier, a helicopter and fixed-wing pilot in Vancouver, said employers are now telling pilots across the country that they are under-qualified in order to justify hiring cheaper temporary foreign workers.


"What the federal government is doing is enabling these operators to bamboozle the system," Brazier said.


"The worst damage to our industry is that they're using the program as a justification to disqualify pilots that are perfectly capable of doing the job."


Dozens of applications for temporary foreign workers, filed by private helicopter operators from across Canada and examined by The Canadian Press, claim the companies are unable to find domestic candidates with the necessary skills.


One company in Niagara Falls, Ont., that was looking last year to hire a seasonal pilot, simply typed "expertise" when asked on the government form why it hadn't sought a Canadian candidate. No other explanation was provided.


Gilles Hudicourt, a longtime Air Transat pilot who's spent years crusading against the temporary foreign worker program in the aviation sector, accuses federal officials of making no effort determine whether employers have sincerely tried to find Canadian workers.


"They always give shady reasons for needing TFWs; it's never valid, and no one ever checks it out," Hudicourt said.


"You have to pity the poor helicopter pilot in Canada. They are often unemployed and rely on these same operators who are hiring these temporary foreign workers for a job. Many of them are afraid to speak out, because they're going to be blacklisted and never get a job."


Greg Holbrooke, an official at the Canadian Federal Pilots Association, said he's unaware of a single instance in which a temporary foreign worker has been hired in Canada as a pilot at a wage that is higher than a Canadian's.


"In every case I'm aware of, when they bring in foreign workers to work as pilots, they pay them less money," Holbrooke said.


The beleaguered temporary foreign workers program was a hot topic of debate again Wednesday in the House of Commons.


Employment Minister Jason Kenney said the government has already beefed up the auditing might of federal inspectors who investigate whether employers are abusing the program.


"We will be proposing additional measures to even further strengthen those auditing powers, to ensure that the rules are followed and that there are very serious consequences should employers break the rules of the program, because they must always give Canadians the first crack at available jobs," he said.


Kenney has vowed to crack down further on the program after banning the food services sector from applying for TFWs following a series of abuse allegations at fast-food restaurants in recent weeks.


Nonetheless, there are other government initiatives, including the International Experience Canada program, that allow employers to hire foreign workers without a skills assessment and with no requirement to pay even minimum wage.


Wadsworth said the real tragedy of the program in the aviation industry is that young pilots need to log flying time in order to get experience.


"When you train to become a pilot you graduate or get your licence at 100 hours, but you're really no use at that point," he said.


"Bringing in temporary foreign workers takes away any motivation for Canadian companies to bring these young pilots along and provide them with training and education and hours."


Follow Lee-Anne Goodman on Twitter at @leeanne25

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Spend more time in the employment section and you might have better luck finding a job. If that fails jump in your car and knock on some doors, that's quite an effective method too.... :-)


On a serious note, I do sympathise with you guys if it seems every job you go for is taken by a kiwi or an Aussie but none of us come here with the intention of 'stealing jobs' nor do we come here to work for crap pay and ****** conditions. Yes we may put up with more than the average Canadian pilot but that is because even what you consider to be ****** is still often far better than what we could even dream of back home. Personally I wouldn't work for less than my Canadian peers and haven't met another foreigner that would or has. Thats not to say those guys are not out there and in all honesty I am sure this is not strictly limited to those pilots from outside of Canada but these types are the minority nonetheless.


We as foreigners come here for a number of reasons. The flying aspects are well known however generally speaking the Canadian people are great hosts which adds to the experience that is living and working in this great and spectacular country of yours.


During my time in Canada I have never once met a Canadian pilot that openly had a problem with me as a foreigner. Possibly because they were being polite, perhaps because they already had a job and couldn't care less about there fellow countrymen that didn't. Reading a thread like this gives the impression that there are hundreds or thousands being left jobless as a result of foreign pilots. Personally given my experience in Canada I don't believe this is the case. If it were then surely we would be met with pitchforks and protests when we arrive.... It's always the squeaky wheel that wants the oil whilst the others happily go about their business. Sometimes it's just easier (not cheaper) to replace the squeaky wheel.


Sure blame the government and legislation and in 10 years time after constant lobbying you might get somewhere. In the meantime foreign pilots will continue to come and work whilst you busy yourself posting your thoughts and views online. Or as the minority you could take a look at yourself and ask why would a foreign pilot get a job before you but not the other Canadians working for the same company under the same conditions??


Helmet on, chinstrap fastened, please excuse me whilst I take cover......

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