OTTAWA, ONTARIO, MAY 26, 2010—To protect temporary foreign workers from exploitation and abuse, the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan signed an information-sharing agreement today.
Mr. Ed Komarnicki, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and the Honourable Rob Norris, Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour and Minister Responsible for Immigration for Saskatchewan, announced the signing of a Letter of Understanding between the two governments.
“All foreign workers in Canada have the same rights and protections as Canadians, and our government is committed to the integrity of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program,” said Mr. Komarnicki. “We are working with the Province of Saskatchewan to promote information sharing that will ensure that provincial labour standards are enforced and that employers fulfill the terms of employment.”
“Our priority is to ensure that the rights and well-being of all Saskatchewan workers are upheld and protected, including newcomers and temporary foreign workers,” said Minister Norris. “Through this agreement, our governments will be able to share information that improves the protection of foreign workers’ rights, and make certain that employers are fulfilling their responsibilities—thereby securing Saskatchewan’s reputation as a great place to work and live.”
The two governments will also work together on outreach activities and share communications tools that will help inform both employers and temporary foreign workers about their rights and responsibilities. The federal government has similar information-sharing agreements in place with the governments of Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia.
In Saskatchewan, the provincial government has introduced a Program Integrity Unit to help protect immigrants and temporary foreign workers, and has created fact sheets in numerous languages that address the issues these workers may face in the workplace. More recently, the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program instituted a Code of Conduct and Applicant Declaration form, which lays out the minimum standards immigration representatives must abide by and ensures that applicants to the Program are aware of their representative’s responsibilities.
The federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program helps employers meet their labour needs when Canadians or permanent residents are not readily available. The Program has a number of provisions to ensure that Canadians have the first opportunity to fill these jobs, and to protect the well-being of foreign workers during their stay. Foreign workers’ wages and working conditions must be comparable to those offered to Canadians or permanent residents.
For more information on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, please visit the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Web site at www.hrsdc.gc.ca.
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Original Source: Canada News Centre http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?m=/index&nid=535109