Ottawa cracks down on temporary foreign workers

Critic calls new regulations “worst decision for business” since 2006

OTTAWA – Tough new regulations kick in today aimed at quelling fears that foreigners are snatching jobs from Canadians.

The rules empower government officials to conduct workplace inspections without warrants and to blacklist employers who aren’t complying.

The regulations also allow government officials to interview foreign workers about their working conditions and to demand documentation from employers proving they’ve complied with the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

The rules stipulate that work permits will be revoked if an employer is discovered to have provided false information that “is having or will have a significant negative effect on the labour market in Canada.”

The changes follow a furor last spring over laid-off workers at RBC being ordered to train their replacements, including those who came to Canada on temporary worker permits.

A B.C. mining company was also in hot water for hiring more than 200 Chinese workers after an ad seeking Mandarin-speakers failed to attract Canadian applicants.

But Daniel Kelly, head of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, calls the crackdown “the worst decision for business since the Harper government took office in 2006.”

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