- Regulatory changes to make it easier for migrant workers to move between jobs thereby improving working and living conditions for Canadian born and migrant workers. Specifically:
- Transition from tied work permits to open work permits
- Remove limits on work permits and restrictions on Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) including a 4-year time-limit on workers ability to stay.
- Permanent resident immigration status upon arrival for migrant workers.
Many migrant workers come to Canada under a work permit which only authorizes them to work for the employer listed on the document. Working for anyone else is considered illegal and puts the worker at risk of deportation. As a result, migrant workers are not free to change jobs without risk to their livelihood, which often their families depend on.
Imagine that you cannot get a second job when you’re in a crunch, and you can’t just quit a bad boss. Restrictive rules ban from hiring migrant workers in certain regions or industries – this means that workers can’t change jobs and stay in the same region, and employers can’t get workers. Many migrant workers have to leave after working in Canada for 4 years, and they are barred for the next 4 years. This creates a revolving door of new workers who aren’t aware of their rights, while employers must continuously re-train workers.
The precarious immigration status of migrant workers puts them in a very vulnerable situation. The fact that workers can be deported when they stand up for their rights means that they have no real voice in their workplaces. When one group of workers are silenced, the overall quality of all jobs fall.
While some migrant workers come to Canada without permanent residency and without their families, others arrive as permanent immigrants. This is a an unequal, two-tiered system which is discriminatory and undermines long-term stability for workers and the economy.
Canada needs an immigration system where all immigrants, especially migrant workers, come to Canada with permanent immigration status.