On November 20, Gordon Maynard of the Vancouver Immigration Law firm Maynard Kischer Stojicevic shared his insights into Division 24 of Bill C-43 with the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.
Division 24 of Bill C-43 makes amendments to the the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, including authorizing the publishing of names of employers who have been found guilty of certain offences against the Temporary Foreign Workers Program.
Gordon was joined, as a witness to the Senate Committee, by Joyce Reynolds, executive vice president of government affairs at Restaurants Canada.
The restaurant industry was hit particularly hard by new provisions to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program after a B.C. McDonalds’ franchisee was found to be violating the program.
Ms. Reynolds addresses one of the main problems Restaurants Canada sees with Division 24 – that it exposes employers of temporary foreign workers without due cause.
“The rule changes brought in on June 20th severely curtail our industry’s ability to access the foreign worker program [and] are a huge overreaction by government to media reporting, innuendo and unproven allegations, rather than government policy formulated on facts-based evidence.” stated Ms. Reynolds.
Speaking on behalf of the Canadian Bar Association, Gordon Maynard specifically addressed the proposed list that threatened to unfairly characterize foreign worker employers as criminals.
Division 24 states that employers who are “found guilty” of breaching the conditions of the Temporary Foreign Worker program may be put on the list. Even without a formal judicial process.
“You might have project sites across the province, but a breach of a conditions causes you to access all of your foreign workers, so the consequences are significant,” explains Gordon.
“We think that ‘found guilty’ should only mean a judicial determination, given the consequences that will follow,” Gordon told the Senate Committee. “It should not be possible to be listed for any breach of any legislation respecting employment. There should be designated offences. The government should very carefully identify and make public which offences will justify being put on that list.”
Gordon Maynard is a Vancouver immigration lawyer with almost 25 years of experience in the field of Canadian immigration law. He is also the past chair of the National Immigration Law section of the Canadian Bar Association and one of the founding partners of MKS immigration lawyers.
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