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Ottawa strengthens the rules relating to foreign workers

Until now, officials could not inspect a workplace without authorization. The Canadian government has just changed this by authorizing inspections without a warrant. This new regulation aims to appease Canadians afraid of seeing their jobs “stolen” by foreign workers.

 

Federal authorities may now inspect workplaces without a warrant and put contractors who do not fulfil their legal obligations on a blacklist. The new provisions, adopted Tuesday, also authorize government officials to question foreign workers on their working conditions and to require employers to provide them with proof that they comply with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program rules.

The new regulation stipulates that the work visa of a foreign worker will be revoked if his employer provides false information that could have a “significant negative impact on the Canadian labour market”. Officials will have six years to complete their investigation, from the date of hiring of the foreign worker.

 

Canadians before foreign workers

The new regulation in force aims to reassure Canadians afraid of seeing their jobs “stolen” by foreign workers. Federal Minister of Labour and Development Jason Kenney argues that it was adopted to guarantee Canadians that they will be selected ahead of foreigners for work.

This happens after the affair last spring in which employees of the Royal Bank of Canada were laid off and had to train their replacements who included foreign workers holding a temporary work permit. The ABC mining company also had some difficulties at the same time, after hiring over 200 Chinese workers following publication of an ad in Mandarin which had only attracted Chinese speaking candidates.

 

According to Daniel Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, this new regulation is the worst decision ever made since the Harper government came to power in 2006. He says it is the large companies who do not comply with the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. So far, it is SMEs that will be affected by the extra costs arising from these new rules.

 

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