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Unscrupulous immigration consultants have been widely reported on in the media of late, taking advantage of immigrants and taking their money while offering little in return and in some cases, nothing in return. They finally received enough attention for the government to propose new rules to regulate the industry, but now some Canadian job recruiters are taking advantage of temporary foreign workers.
The Calgary Herald reported on one woman who paid almost $6,000 to an employment agency and learned there was no job for her after she landed, even though she had a work permit and experience.
Hundreds of separate investigations in Alberta have been launched within the past four years alone, looking into these employment agencies and their charging of fees for essentially doing nothing. Charging fees to help someone find a job is illegal, so the fees go by other names, like “settlement” fees.
In the fall, Ottawa is expected to receive recommendations on how to fix the problems because no matter which province the problems occur in, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is a federal program.
In December 2009, there were approximately 283,000 temporary foreign workers in all of Canada.
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney proposed new measures last year that would help solve these problems such as having a better assessment process of potential job offers, checking out employers with regards to their compliance with labour laws and placing restrictions on hiring foreign workers if the employer is found to break promises about wages and work conditions.
Those changes have not come to pass, but other changes have been considered with regards to employment agencies, such as: revising the definition of an employment agency, requiring written contracts between job seekers, employers and employment agencies, putting an end to false advertising, threatening deportation and misrepresenting wages and the rights of workers and regulating fees for settlement services. It should be decided this fall as to whether any of these proposals will become reality.
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