Minister of State Helena Guergis' Statement on Bill C-45, and Act to Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

    OTTAWA, June 18 /CNW Telbec/ -

    Our Government is committed to ensuring that foreign workers receive the
    protection from exploitation that they deserve. Yesterday, I seconded
    Bill C-45, which was reintroduced by Minister Kenney. This is an act
    which will amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) to
    help protect vulnerable foreign workers, many of whom are trafficked into
    Canada against their will and forced to be exotic dancers, sweatshop
    workers, and agricultural laborers.

    Women are often the most vulnerable to exploitation as foreign workers.
    Canadians want an immigration system that treats people fairly and
    equally. They do not want an immigration system that can be used to
    exploit vulnerable people. These amendments to the Immigration and
    Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) will give immigration officers the
    authority to deny work permits to applicants who may be at risk of being
    abused or exploited.

    Human trafficking is a particular concern for this Government. We have
    taken strong action to address this, from increasing the length of
    temporary resident permits available to victims of trafficking, to
    supporting M.P. Joy Smith's Private Member's Bill calling for mandatory
    minimum sentences for those who traffic minors. Bill C-45 will create a
    tool that will not only address a broader range of activity beyond human
    trafficking, they will also assist us in our ongoing efforts to prevent
    human trafficking from occurring.

    Our Government has a strong record on supporting women - particularly
    those who are victims of criminal activity. Bill C-45 further
    demonstrates this commitment, and I look forward to this bill receiving
    support from the Opposition in the House of Commons so that those most
    vulnerable to exploitation - including many women -finally receive the
    protection they deserve.

    Thank you.

For further information:

For further information: Sherine Mansour, Director of Communications,
Office of the Minister of State (Status of  Women), (819) 956-4000; Ce texte
est également disponible en français.

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