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The Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Alberta: Exploring the Key Determinants of Public Opinion

  • Author / Creator
    Doerksen, Chad
  • This research explores public opinion regarding the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program in Canada. It is situated within an important moment in the program’s history, in a province with particularly widespread reliance on it. Utilizing the 2013 Alberta Survey – a province-wide telephone survey – I explore Albertans’ opinions regarding the TFW program. This analysis is framed with an overview of the expansion of the TFW program over the past several decades, a description of the extensive media coverage given to several prominent examples of misuse of the program in 2013, and the resulting changes to the program. Compared to results from prior nation-wide surveys, the 2013 findings demonstrate that the majority of Albertans believe the TFW program is necessary. Furthermore, the vast majority of Albertans believe TFWs should have the same workplace rights as Canadians, and a majority believe that TFWs should be able to access permanent residency. These findings highlight points where TFW program policy was disconnected from public opinion, particularly with regard to allowing differential pay and permanent residency rights of TFWs. In addition, the 2013 survey findings illustrate some similarities with findings from the broader literature regarding the key determinants of attitudes towards immigration. In sum, this research makes a significant contribution to the limited literature exploring public opinion regarding the TFW program in Canada. It provides an in-depth analysis of Albertans’ opinions regarding the TFW program and the key factors that shape these opinions, and also insights into the connection between public opinion and public policy.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2015-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R35717W6N
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Sociology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Krahn, Harvey (Sociology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dorow, Sara (Sociology)
    • Derwing, Tracey (Educational Psychology)