New rules makes it easier for employers to hire migrant workers without rights and protections

All migrants require full and permanent immigration status now and in the future to protect themselves. 

Toronto — The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change is responding to today’s announced ‘Workforce Solutions Road Map – further changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to address labour shortages across Canada’.

“Canada keeps making it easier for employers to hire migrant workers without ensuring migrants have basic rights and protections that can only be accessed by those with permanent resident status. We do not have a “crisis” of labour shortage, we have a wages and work conditions crisis; the solution is decent work and full immigration status for all. Where there is a labour shortage, it is clearly for low-waged essential workers, they should be able to come to Canada with permanent resident status instead of on employer controlled permits with few rights.”

– Syed Hussan, executive director, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change

Under the rules announced today: 

  • Employers will be able to hire an unlimited number of low-wage workers in seasonal industries, including agriculture, tourism, fish and seafood processing; 
  • Maximum seasonal work permit length for new work permits will be extended from 6 months to 9 months; 
  • Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA’s) will be valid for 18 months. The LMIAs are linked to employer dependent (closed) work permits, which is one of the primary mechanisms of temporary foreign worker exploitation. The LMIA process is completely inadequate at either determining labour needs or ensuring migrant worker rights. 
  • High wage work permits will be extended from two to three years. 

In addition, effective April 30

  • Low-wage migrant worker cap for industries with labour shortage has been increased to 30% from 20%
  • Industries without a labour shortage can now hire 20% of their workforce as migrant workers instead of 10%  
  • LMIAs will now be granted in regions with more than 6% unemployment.


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