Immigration Minister proposes changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to help protect foreign workers in Canada

CIC News
Published: October 29, 2009

On October 9, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Canada (CIMC) Minister Jason Kenney announced proposed changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program that will strengthen the protection of Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada.

“Temporary Foreign Workers play an important role in the Canadian economy. We have a duty to them, employers and all Canadians, to ensure that the program is fair and equitable,” Kenney said.

The proposed amendments to the program include:

  • a more stringent assessment of the genuineness of the job offer by Canadian authorities, which will include verification of the employer’s compliance with labour laws in the past;
  • limits to the time period a worker can stay in Canada before returning home; and
  • a two-year prohibition from hiring a temporary foreign worker for employers who have been found to offer working conditions, wages or occupations that are significantly different than initially promised.

Employers who have been prohibited from employing foreign workers will be listed on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.

Prior to announcing the changes, Kenney and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) Minister Diane Finley consulted extensively with various groups involved with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

“The regulatory changes being proposed today are the result of extensive consultations and address the most significant concerns identified through that process,” said Kenney.

Kenney’s office stressed that the proposed changes reflect Canada’s commitment to protecting foreign workers.

"It's a warning to companies and individuals that depend on foreign workers – treat them with respect, otherwise you will lose the ability to sponsor new foreign workers," said Alykhan Velshi, Kenney's aide.

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