Straits Times. May 9, 2008.
Jobless in Canada - and SingaporeMUCH has been written about foreign workers and how they compete with Singaporeans for jobs. It has been argued that if foreigners leave, jobs for Singaporeans will be affected. I believe this problem is unique to Singapore only.
Let me relate my experience as a foreigner trying to secure a job in Canada. I spent almost six futile months trying to get a suitable job in Calgary and Toronto.
Canadian employers must get approval from the government before any foreigner can gain employment; a task they were either unaware of or unwilling to undertake.
In Calgary, jobs were plentiful but restricted to Canadians only. Whenever I went for an interview, I was told politely that although I was suitable I could not be hired for obvious reasons. I took a bus back from Calgary to Toronto, a journey of 52 hours.
During the trip I was able to marvel at the vastness of Canada with its open spaces and lack of people. Everywhere there were signs 'for hire'. But not for me.
After six months of frustration I left Canada, arriving in Singapore to see foreigners getting jobs and me jobless in my own country.
Revi Anthony Fernandez
This morning, at our weekly Young Pay-And-Pay meeting, yours truly proposed a two solutions to "fix" Mr. Fernandez's problem:
- One, we shall give out more citizenship - any foreigner who wants it shall get it!
- Two, we shall give out more permanent residence status, AND then consider PR as resident workers, indistinguishable from citizens in official statistics.
That way, most job will go to locals - defined as citizens and PR - and foreigners will get fewer jobs, which is exactly as Mr. Fernandez has wished for.
Haha! I am so brilliant! They should promote me to become the Minister of Manpower!