International Migrants Day: Important victory for migrant workers must be first step towards a more just system

16 December 2016

The CCR applauds the federal government for eliminating on December 13 the “cumulative duration” rule that limits temporary foreign workers’ participation in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to four years. This is a victory for the many migrant workers and advocates that have been fighting against the rule, and an important step towards recognizing the rights of workers who are active contributors to the Canadian economy and society.

Further steps are necessary to make Canada a fair place for migrant workers.

In spring 2016 a federal review of the TFWP was carried out, and organizations including the CCR demanded that migrant workers’ rights be the central focus of the program review, and submitted recommendations for change to the TFWP and the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP).

Now, one of our seven key recommendations has been adopted, with six more to go:

In 2016 migrant workers and advocates for migrant rights have had their hope renewed for positive change, which CCR will continue to work for in 2017.

We look to the government of Canada to move quickly to make further necessary changes, in order to treat fairly these workers who contribute to the Canadian economy and society. CCR calls for the government to revise the economic immigration program to include a stream for low-skilled workers, so they can come as permanent residents and not be at risk of victimization by exploitative employers and recruiters as a result of their precarious status.