The Canadian government has decided to increase federal inspections to safeguard the interests and to ensure the well-being of temporary foreign workers. The number of inspections done has increased steeply this year and already two businesses have been added to the blacklist. According to some institutions, there were no inspections in the year 2014 under new role, but the number rose to 586 in 2015 and 1537 in the current year.
Many complaints were received regarding the poor working and living conditions at Obeid Farms in Vanessa, Ontario. Upon investigation done by the officials, it was found that more than 20 temporary foreign workers have been consistently working for seven days a week. This is the first time that a ban has been invoked against a firm in relation to the agricultural worker section of the program.
AYR Motor Express, a trucking company located in New Brunswick was also banned because of their poor way of handling the travel costs of their workers.
Employment minister Mary Ann personally signed this ban decision against these two companies. The Minster’s action comes during the time when Liberal government is considering the options for further updating the temporary foreign worker program, which will be announced later this year. Despite a slow economic growth, Canadian firms from all sectors report labor shortages and continue supporting the need of the temporary foreign worker program.
The fear of shame is a major source of anxiety for employers who hire temporary foreign workers. Lawyers have been hired by many employers to manage such scenarios.
The rise in a number of inspections are result of new changes that were announced in 2014 by the conservative government after many high profile incidents got reported regarding the abuse of the program. New rules changed the face of the program and now have two major sections, one by maintaining a smaller temporary foreign worker program and the other by separating the intra-company transfers and international student exchanges into a new international mobility program.
Fees for obtaining a permit was hiked from $250 to $ 1000, the process was called Labor Market Impact Assessment. The additional revenues will be used to cover the cost of additional inspections.
Immigration Minister John McCallum recently mentioned that the 2014 reforms went too far and new updates will added to the program this year.