Open letter on Temporary Foreign Worker Program review
9 March 2016
The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
140 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0J9
The Honourable John McCallum, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 1L1
We are writing to welcome the recent announcement that the federal government will undertake a review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). We fully agree that a review is necessary. We urge that migrant workers’ rights be the central focus of the program review.
Migrant workers are made vulnerable by the rules of the TFWP, and exploitation and abuse tarnish the integrity of the program.
The previous government’s 2014 overhaul of the TFWP was inadequate precisely because the changes did not address the shortcomings of the program with regards to its treatment of migrant workers. While the 2014 changes were intended to penalize employers who abuse the program, no consideration was given to addressing the fate of TFWs whose employers were found to be at fault, or to correcting systemic flaws in the program that leave migrant workers vulnerable to abuse.
Migrant workers’ rights and the voices of migrant workers themselves must be included in order to make the review of the program meaningful.
Canadian Council for Refugees
Agricultural Workers Alliance
Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA)
Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS)
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
Carrefour d’aide aux nouveaux arrivants, Montréal
Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples
Comité d’action contre la traite humaine interne et internationale
Comité travail migrant du Front de défense des non-syndiquéES
Cooper Institute, PEI
Eamonn O’Loghlin Irish Canadian Immigration Centre
FCJ Refugee Centre, Toronto
Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec
Immigrant Workers Centre, Montreal
Inter-Clinic Immigration Working Group, Toronto
Jesuit Refugee and Migrant Service
Kabisig Society of Fort Saskatchewan
Kensington-Bellwoods Community Legal Services
Lethbridge Family Services
Ligue des droits et libertés du Québec
Manitoba Immigrant and Refugee Settlement Sector Association (MIRSSA)
Migrant Workers’ Dignity Association, BC
Migrant Worker Solidarity Network, Manitoba
National Union of Public and General Employees
Niagara Migrant Workers Interest Group
Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)
Quaker Committee for Refugees of Toronto
Red Legal Collective, Vancouver
Scalabrini Centre for Refugees and Immigrants, Montreal
United Food and Commercial Workers Canada
West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association
Organizations wishing to add their name to the list of signatories should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.