Minister Kenney applauds Alberta for toughening rules to protect foreign workers

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Ottawa, March 16, 2012 – The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement:

I applaud Alberta’s decision to bring in tougher rules to regulate employment agencies. This is an important and positive step towards protecting foreign workers from unscrupulous labour recruiters. Temporary foreign workers can fall victim to dishonest agencies, which might mislead them in any number of ways – including exaggerated promises of employment opportunities or of their chances of becoming Canadian citizens.

These measures complement Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)’s efforts to crack down on the activities of unscrupulous immigration consultants.

The Government of Canada has also been taking action to protect foreign workers from abuse and exploitation. Live-in caregivers now receive employer-paid benefits and employment contracts between live-in caregivers and their employers now contain additional mandatory clauses outlining hours of work, overtime and other leave entitlements. CIC has also set up a dedicated phone service for live-in caregivers through the Department’s Call Centre.

In addition, regulatory amendments adopted in April 2011 improve the Temporary Foreign Worker Program by granting more authority to the Government to review the actions of employers. The improvements, which included requiring additional information from the employer to ensure that the job is genuine, help us identify non-compliant employers without being overly onerous on the large majority of employers who have the best interests of their employees at heart.

Better oversight ensures that temporary foreign workers, including live-in caregivers, come to Canada to work in genuine jobs, and minimizes the chance that they will be exploited or abused.

For further information (media only), please contact:

Ana Curic
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada’s economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

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