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

Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands

Prime minister rides horseback with Chief Joe Alphonse, TNG Chairman, to Xeni Gwet’in meeting place

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Rain, snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

B.C.’s Interior set to get hit with snow while the Lower Mainland is expected to see more rain

Turn your clocks back: Daylight Saving time ends Sunday

Don’t forget to turn back your clock, change your batteries

Residents search for answers in time of high bear/human conflict

It’s been a stressful year for residents and bears in the Bella Coola Valley

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Shelter struggles: Landlord takes over rental unit whenever visiting B.C. town

Renter’s story highlights how hard it is to find accommodation in Revelstoke

Most Read