On Friday, December 15th, the Federal Government proposed in the Canada Gazette the creation of an Open Work Permit Program for Workers Facing Abuse or Risk of Abuse. This Open Permit is in line with our proposed permits and are a step in the right direction. Click here to see our original submissions calling for this permit in December 2017.
The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change has made specific submissions on ways to ensure that the proposed Open Work Permits actually ensure migrant worker protections – Read them here.
The proposed regulatory changes are promising in terms of interim protections for migrant workers as we continue our call for a system of permanent resident status on landing for low-waged migrants. However, they can and must be strengthened. Current gaps include:
- Wide range of discretionary powers for the officers to define abuse, determine the length of permits or to issue the permit at all, and lack of a robust appeals process to maintain a check on these powers;
- Lack of specific provisions for Care Workers who need to complete 24 months of service within 48 months and need the work experience on these permits to be counted; and lack of protections from blacklisting for Seasonal Agricultural Workers;
- Lack of guaranteed access to healthcare; and
- Lack of specific investigative mechanisms to ensure workers are compensated for harms.
Take Action Now! Send a letter to the Federal Government right now calling for changes. Use this template letter to draft your own submissions. Please share this with your colleagues.