New legislation for foreign worker recruitment provides better protection

CIC News
Published: April 29, 2009

The province of Manitoba has implemented new regulations to better protect temporary foreign workers from unscrupulous recruiters and employers that have surfaced in Canada and abroad.  The new legislation is designed to prevent any worker from paying to find a job in Manitoba, requiring recruitment agencies be licensed by the province for better regulation.  National organizations are calling for similar legislation to be enacted across the country.

Manitoba's new Worker Recruitment and Protection Act prohibits recruitment agencies from charging fees to foreign workers; currently one of the most glaring problems with temporary foreign worker recruitment in Canada.

Technically, recruitment agencies are meant to charge Canadian employers to find foreign workers for them to hire.  Nonetheless, there have been cases where recruiters have taken advantage of foreign worker ignorance to this norm, requiring instead that foreign workers pay recruiters to find them jobs in Canada.

To enforce the new legislation which prohibits this, Manitoba now requires that all foreign worker recruitment agencies be registered and licensed by the province.  Employers who wish to hire temporary foreign workers must also be registered.

The Act requires that both employers and recruitment agencies submit detailed records about the place of employment, the workers' duties and wages, and up-to-date contact information for the worker.

"By keeping a registry of where these workers are, who recruited them, and what they were promised when they were hired, you finally have jurisdiction with the political will and regulations to penalize and weed out employers and recruiters who abuse foreign workers," said Wayne Hanley, national president for the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Canada).

Hanley has called for all provincial and territorial jurisdictions to adopt similar legislation to ensure that human rights of foreign workers are protected across the country.

To ensure that labour-starved employers in Manitoba will still have access to the foreign workers they need, the provincial government provides direct assistance with foreign worker recruitment to registered employers.

"Where employers are unable to meet their labour needs locally, we can connect them directly with skilled workers through established international partnerships that are safe and effective," stated Nancy Allan, Manitoba's provincial Labour Minister.

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at
Top Stories
New data suggests growing demand for temporary foreign workers in several Canadian industries
Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, and PEI nominate newcomers for provincial immigration
IRCC’s update on its plan to attract global talent
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Canada
IRCC’s update on its plan to attract global talent
Sunlight on an airplane wing
Study finds more newcomers are considering moving to escape housing costs
Typical homes in Canada
How to take a break from your studies and maintain eligibility for a work permit
A student at the airport looking at flight times.
Two Canadian cities among the most livable in the world, as Toronto drops out of the top 10
A view of the sunset in Calgary at a lake.
Link copied to clipboard