TORONTO, April 7, 2014 /CNW/ - The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC), Canada's largest migrant worker coalition, will be participating in the launch of Lawyer and Professor Fay Faraday's groundbreaking new report Profiting from the Precarious: How Recruitment Practices Exploit Migrant Workers on April 8, 2014, at 2pm at Toronto Reference Library. Migrant workers and allies are available for comment in the lead-up to the report release and after.
There are an estimated 338,000 migrant workers in Canada. Low-wage migrant workers are often tied to a single employer, and cannot change jobs easily. Many migrant workers pay up to two years of their salaries in their home country to Canadian (or Canadian-affiliated) recruiters to work in Canada, leaving entire families in debt. As result of these debts, many migrant workers cannot exert their rights in Canada for fear of facing reprisals and deportations. Regulating recruiters and keeping track of migrant worker employers is an essential step to ensure basic rights for migrant workers.
Profiting from the Precarious is being launched at a critical juncture. Two laws -- Bill 146 and Bill 161 -- are currently being discussed in the Ontario legislature pertaining to migrant worker recruitment. Bill 146 is a step in the right direction, but does not go far enough. Bill 161 (the Ontario Immigration Act 2014), on the other hand, fails to protect migrant workers from recruiters and further entrenches precariousness.
The Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act, 2009 (EPFNA) banned recruitment fees and the seizure of documents from Live-In Caregivers, but excluded other migrant workers from its protections. On December 4, 2013, the Wynne government introduced Bill 146, which if passed, would expand EPFNA protections to all migrant workers. At that time, MWAC urged that legislation ensure meaningful protections for migrant workers. Read more on Bill 146 here: www.migrantworkersalliance.org/whats-in-bill-146/
On February 19, 2014, the Liberal government introduced the Ontario Immigration Act, Bill 161. This bill goes against the tide of best practice recruiter regulation laws across Canada. The government proposes an expansion of the current Provincial Nominee Program, but needs to explicitly include the temporary foreign workers who toil in Ontario's backbone industries such as farmwork, caregiving, construction and service work among those eligible to access permanent resident status through the Provincial Nominee Program. Read more on Bill 161 here: www.migrantworkersalliance.org/fairontarioimmigrationact/
SOURCE: Migrant Workers Alliance for Change
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