“Foreign Workers” – really Tim?!

8 Sep

Since the foundation of the work I do is helping people to become aware of the assumptions, stereotypes, and perceptions they carry – and how these (often unconsciously) create barriers for others and between themselves and others – I have to comment on Tim Hudak’s use of the term “foreign workers.”

Foreign worker, to me, implies someone that arrives here to work, but goes back to their country of origin. We have many foreign workers (also known as migrant workers) who (for instance) come to work the land from Spring to Fall. You may have seen some of them working at your local Farmers’ Market.

One could argue that foreign workers are doing work that Canadians won’t do (at the very least, they are doing it for less, and often in abysmal conditions).

But someone who comes here to start a new life for whatever reason is an immigrant. Many immigrants come with a rich background, ready to contribute, and very often find it difficult (if not impossible) to work in their field. They are very often Foreign Trained Professional (or Internationally Educated Professionals).

Hmmm….Foreign Trained Professional or Internationally Educated Professional has a different ring to it, doesn’t it? Hmmm…I wonder why Hudak isn’t using those terms?

Words are powerful. They can impact what we see, think and feel – and consequently also what we don’t see, think, or feel – and thereby impact the way we treat others.

See more.


copyright 2011 Annemarie Shrouder
Author, speaker and facilitator on issues of diversity & inclusion


One Response to ““Foreign Workers” – really Tim?!”

  1. Heidi September 8, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    Case in point – I just interviewed an Iranian woman in Calgary. She is fluent in German and looking for a teaching job at the Berlitz Language Centre there. Her husband who joined her recently is “Informatiker” as she told me. I can only guess that this would translate to IT specialist since personally I am not aux current with the English term. Does that tell you anything? Will he find a job???


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