Migrant workers are important members of our communities and perform essential work in many industries. Many of these workers are issued employer-specific work permits, which make it extremely difficult to change jobs, restricting their labour mobility within the country. This is a violation of their fundamental human right to freely change employers.
The widespread abuse and mistreatment of migrant workers in Canada fuelled by this unjust policy is extensively documented. There is a growing consensus that these permits significantly contribute to the heightened vulnerability of migrant workers to violations of their rights.
Migrant workers and their allies have long demanded that the government put an end to the employer-specific work permit and implement policies that would respect workers’ right to freely change employers.
We call on the Canadian government to replace closed work permits with unconditional open work permits and open barrier-free pathways to permanent residency for all migrant workers (regardless of wage level or occupation).