CANADA – The federal government has announced new amendments to Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (Temporary Foreign Workers). This comes after earlier this year, stories began to circulate online revealing the exploitation of many Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW). Workers on farms in Ontario and across Canada revealed that they were subjected to unfit living and working conditions while in the country with the program.
“The Government of Canada takes its responsibilities to protect temporary foreign workers (TFWs) very seriously. Ensuring the health and safety of these workers while they are in Canada is a key priority,” reads a release from the federal government, continuing on to say it’s taking “concrete action” to better support TFWs.
The amendments are now in full effect, with officials saying the aim is to better protect TFWs in Canada, and help to prevent mistreatment and abuse.
The changes include:
- Mandating that employers provide all TFWs with information about their rights in Canada;
- Prohibiting reprisal by employers against workers, for instance against those who come forward with complaints; and,
- Prohibiting employers from charging recruitment fees to workers and holding them accountable for the actions of recruiters in this regard.
- Requiring employers to provide reasonable access to health care and private health insurance when needed.
Ministers Speak On New Temporary Foreign Worker Regulations
“In Canada, the rights of all workers—including temporary foreign workers—are protected by law,” said Sean Fraser, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
“With these new regulations in place, the Government of Canada is strengthening its ability to protect temporary foreign workers and is enhancing its capacity to prevent potential mistreatment or abuse during TFWs period of employment in Canada,” Fraser continued.
“These individuals come to Canada and work for Canadian businesses, and help drive the Canadian economy forward. We have a responsibility to ensure they are protected and respected,” said Carla Qualtrough, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, also saying that everyone deserves to work in dignity, in safety, and in health.
According to a release, the plan was to implement regulations to stop what officials call “bad actors” from becoming employers with the TFW program. Federal officials say they hope the new rules will “improve the program’s ability to conduct inspections and administer appropriate consequences for those who do not follow the rules.”
“Employers will be more aware of their responsibilities and program rules, which will lead to better protection of workers and increased program compliance,” the release continues.
Do you think this is enough? Let us know in the comments, below.