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Hiring Temporary Foreign Workers? More Employer Compliance Rules are on the Way.

Earlier this month, the Globe and Mail published this article which spoke about how the Provinces would like to get more information from the Federal Government regarding foreign workers who come to Canada to better enforce Provincial laws. 

 What this says to me is that the Provinces are getting even more serious about chasing down employers of foreign workers who may be breaching Provincial laws. 

 While the main point of the Globe and Mail article discusses information sharing between Canada and the Provinces, most of the comments spoke about compliance with Provincial laws. In fact, one Province, Alberta, spoke about the need to “constantly” review the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

 This article comes on the heels of a recent Manitoba Court of Appeal decision in which a precedent-setting sentence was handed down to an employer who hired foreign workers illegally.  The article also comes in light of proposed changes (that have not yet come into effect) to the employer compliance and enforcement regime that the Federal Government has proposed. If you want some information on some of these changes, you can read The Human Resource Management Association of Manitoba’s response.

 The combination of Provinces requesting more information to better enforce provincial laws regarding temporary foreign workers, courts coming down with harsher sentences for employers of temporary foreign workers who break the law, and proposed changes to strengthen enforcement provisions of the law regarding temporary foreign workers, make it clear that any employer of temporary foreign workers must ensure that their HR systems are prepared to deal with potential investigations from a variety of levels of Government.  The failure to comply with these investigations can result in serious penalties.

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About Reis Pagtakhan

Reis Pagtakhan is an immigration law partner with MLT Aikins LLP. His extensive experience includes assisting businesses obtain temporary entry to Canada and permanent residency for their executives, employees and contractors from all over the world. Reis has lectured on and written papers on immigration law for the Law Society of Manitoba, the Manitoba Bar Association, the Human Resources Management Association of Manitoba, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, and the Community Legal Education Association of Manitoba. He has presented position papers before the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Immigration Department officials and Manitoba Labour and Immigration. He has written articles on immigration for the CBC, the Winnipeg Free Press, trade, industry and ethnic publications.

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