From May 11 to June 1, 2016, the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities invited written submissions on the future of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. Across the board, most written submissions called for permanent residency status on arrival for all migrant workers. Here are a few of them.
Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights Canada / Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, and endorsed by 16 organizations.
All migrant workers must be able to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents immediately, independently and permanently without depending or relying on the sponsorship or good will of their employers or third party agencies. This program should include migrant workers already in Canada, those that have worked here and left and those arriving in the future. Migrant workers who have been granted permanent residency should get comprehensive settlement services that will ensure their success. Download full submissions here.
Canadian Council for Refugees
The federal government should guarantee the right to all admitted as migrant workers, whatever the category, to apply for permanent residence at the same time as they apply for the work permit. This would move us away from treating newcomers as disposable, as we have been doing by using precarious, temporary labour to fill long-term positions. Download full submissions here.
Current and future migrant workers should be presented with the option of acquiring permanent residency in Canada immediately, independently and permanently without depending or relying on the sponsorship or good will of their employers or third party agencies. Download full submissions here.
United Food and Commercial Workers
Canada should view the prosperity of migrant workers as an investment in Canada. We should actively support their settlement and nurture their attachment to Canada. Our primary recommendation is that workers have the option to enter Canada as permanent residents. Download full submissions here.
Migrant Worker Solidarity Network
Migrant workers, including Seasonal Agricultural Workers, should be given permanent resident status. Download full submissions here.
Caregivers Action Centre
The only real and permanent solution is granting these workers permanent resident immigration status on landing – this is our key recommendation. Permanent immigration status on landing does not entail a closure of the temporary foreign workers program or a mass expansion of it. Rather we propose a third way: inclusion and access for low-waged racialized women in care work to Canada with full rights and benefits that can only be secured by permanent resident status. Download full submissions here.
Migrant Worker Rights Canada
Ensure access upon arrival permanent legal status for all migrant workers, and in parallel access to permanent RESIDENT status (associated with public services and access to citizenship), allowing re‐entry in Canada. Download full submissions here.
West Coast Domestic Workers Alliance
All Temporary Foreign Workers should be granted permanent residency immediately upon entry in Canada. Pathways to permanent residency should be provided to all TFWs currently working in Canada. Reinstate guaranteed pathways to permanent residency for caregivers. Download full submissions here.
OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
Give migrant workers who are here the opportunity to apply for permanent residence, and allow future workers a way become permanent residents. Download full submissions here.
Community Legal Assistance Society
Above all, migrant workers need secure immigration status upon arrival in Canada in order to have equal and meaningful access to legal protections in employment, housing, and human rights. Download full submissions here.