Farmworkers plant beans in the Fraser Valley. (Black Press files)

New rules introduced to protect B.C. foreign workers from exploitation

More than 16,000 temporary permits issued last year

The B.C. government has introduced new rules to require foreign worker recruiters to be licensed and audited, to prevent them from violating work hours, withholding pay and other abuses.

Labour Minister Harry Bains introduced the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act on Tuesday, providing for fines or jail sentences of up to a year if employers charge fees for job placements, hold a worker’s passport, misrepresent job opportunities or otherwise abuse workers.

“If you have paid thousands to get here for a job, if you and your family’s financial well-being depends on it, if you don’t know our laws extend to all workers, including temporary foreign workers, or if you don’t have the language skills to ask for help and are afraid of repercussions if you do, you remain in those unjust situations that should never exist,” Bains said at a legislature ceremony.

RELATED: Fire displaces dozens of B.C. farmworkers

High demand: Hiring undocumented B.C. construction workers even hurts those who obey rules

Last year the federal immigration department issued more than 47,000 temporary foreign worker permits, with nearly 17,000 workers coming to B.C. for seasonal farm work and other jobs that it considers unlikely to be filled domestically.

Bains said temporary workers can be found in orchards, restaurants, retail and service businesses, construction and hotel, salons and other workplaces. He said most employers are fair, but there are others who need enforcement to protect employees.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Grand Forks high school students remember

The school and the Legion joined for the annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

Crowd gathers at Phoenix memorial for Remembrance Day

The small group shared remembrances around the campfire.

Letter: City hall flag needs to be replaced

Legion member Sandra Doody said the City Hall flag is embarassing.

Grand Forks daycare now part of universal childcare program

The spaces will now cost a maximum of $200 per month.

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read