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

Sooke’s Park Watch to cease operation

People not carrying money for donation boxes led to funding shortfalls

Langford homeowner helps West Shore RCMP catch car thief

The homeowner grabbed the suspect until the police arrived moments later

Langford woman charged after allegedly racking up $10,000 in loans using stolen identity

A 32-year-old Langford woman faces theft, fraud, and impersonation charges

Central Saanich hosts NEAT program to help seniors connect with each other

Health promotion program aims to reduce social isolation among seniors

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

First case of ‘probable’ vaping-related illness found in B.C.

Health officials warn this could be the first of many

Fire response at Trans Mountain Burnaby tank farm could take six hours: audit

Site doesn’t have mutual aid response agreement with Burnaby fire department

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Tickets available for Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame dinner and induction

Ryan Cochrane, Mike Piechnick and Rob Short among the inductees

Suspect hits woman with pipe, jumps into waiting truck in downtown Nanaimo

Police say victim believes ‘vicious assault’ was an attempted purse-snatching

WATCH: Sooke’s top stories of the week

A round-up of this week’s top stories

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps them out

Most Read