All immigrants in Canada are not created equal. The various routes to migration in Canada already divide new Canadians into refugee, economic, family, undocumented, and entrepreneur classes; each with different requirements for entry and each regulated in different ways once they arrive.
While there is a fair amount of dialogue surrounding certain groups, for example the family reunification and undocumented classes, the growing class of temporary “guest” workers does not frequently makes it into the public discourse.
This class of migration is substantively different from others, in that these migrants are not being invited to stay and become a part of Canada. Instead, we see a very literal move towards treating people, almost entirely, as economic resources.
Temporary foreign workers also often come from very different parts of the world than other classes of immigrants, with guest workers coming from largely from Central America and the Caribbean, areas that are underrepresented in the economic classes.
Some provinces, such as Manitoba, have a means of moving from temporary to permanent status, but the rise in the numbers of these “guests” open a variety of important questions about the possibilities for the cultural, economic and political membership and participation of all residents of Canada.