PROVINCE ANNOUNCES CONSULTATIONS TO BETTER REGULATE IMMIGRATION RECRUITERS AND MODELLING AGENCIES
– – – Legislation Would Protect Vulnerable Workers: Allan
Labour and Immigration Minister Nancy Allan announced today the province will consult stakeholders on changes to the Employment Services Act to better regulate foreign temporary worker recruitment agencies and modelling agencies.
“In the last 10 years, we have seen the rise in modelling agencies recruiting young girls, the growth of human trafficking and the significant increase in off-shore temporary foreign worker recruitment activities by third-party representatives,” said Allan. “We need to update legislation that would better protect these workers who can be vulnerable to exploitation.”
The Employment Services Act, which governs the activities of employment service agencies, has not been amended since 1987. The province will consult stakeholders to expand and modernize the legislation to better protect workers in vulnerable situations.
The goals of the legislation would include:
· ensuring young people, especially young women and girls, are adequately protected from potential exploitation;
· protecting temporary foreign workers vulnerable to exploitation by requiring all third-party recruiters to be licensed by the province and be members in good standing of a law society in Canada or the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants; and
· assisting employers in their recruitment efforts by making sure they have access to legitimate and reliable recruitment choices.
“The effectiveness of protecting temporary foreign workers will be assisted by better information sharing with the federal government,” said Allan. “We will continue to work with our federal partners to better understand the arrival, location and numbers of temporary workers as well as identify, license and regulate agencies involved in the recruitment.”
The minister said this will be the first such legislation in its kind in Canada and will be a model for other jurisdictions.
In January 2007, there were nearly 4,500 temporary foreign workers in Manitoba, about 3,000 more than a decade ago.
Manitobans can share their views by writing to Employment Services Act Review, Employment Standards Division, Room 604 - 401 York Ave., Winnipeg MB R3C 0P8 or by e-mailing: