minersAfter a hiring controversy in British Columbia, the Canadian government has announced that it will conduct a review of its Temporary Foreign Worker program.

The program came under criticism in recent weeks after approximately 200 work permits were issued to Chinese miners. The miners were destined to work in British Columbia for the Canada-based HD Mining International LTd.

Critics raised concerns as to whether the Canadian company had conducted sufficient efforts to hire Canadian citizens or permanent residents before looking to hire abroad. In order to secure most temporary work permits, proof of such efforts is required.

In this specific case, the Canadian company listed Chinese language skills as an essential component for hiring. This need has been called into question, as it may have been used in order to exclude Canadians from the job.

“We are not satisfied that sufficient efforts were made to recruit or train Canadians interested in these jobs,” said Human Resources and Skills Development (ESDC) Minister Diane Finley.

The Canadian Labour Congress as well as several unions, including those for miners and steelworkers in British Columbia, have supported the review.