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

Outdoor ice rink opens in the North Shuswap

Those looking to skate in the fresh air can do so at Farrell’s Field in Celista

Man admits responsibility for 2016 death of Shuswap motorcyclist

Brian Watson, 60, died after being struck while riding his motorcycle on Squilax-Anglemont Road

Super blood wolf moon fills Okanagan skies, to photographers’ delight

Photographers had a rare chance Sunday to capture a rare lunar eclipse

Video: Snow Pitch Tournament a home run

Teams competed for softball supremacy on the snow-covered Finlayson Park ball diamonds

UPDATE: Vernon serial arsonist sentencing delayed

The sentencing hearing for William Munton contiunes at 2 p.m. Friday in Vernon Supreme Court

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, expenses

Speaker Darryl Plecas’ report details ‘flagrant overspending’

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Trial starts for man accused of killing Winnipeg bus driver

The Winnipeg bus driver was stabbed multiple times back in 2017

Giuliani clarifies comments about Trump Tower Moscow project

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani clarifies comments he made

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Former Kelowna city manager downplays possible Costco move

Ron Mattiussi says if store leaves for Westside, another big box retailer will likely take the site

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver that killed BC RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Most Read