Skip to content

P.E.I. chapter calls on Trudeau government to end discrimination against migrant workers


The Council of Canadians P.E.I. chapter is calling on the Trudeau government to take action for migrant rights.

CBC reports, “A new Canada-wide coalition of migrant workers is calling on the incoming Liberal government in Ottawa to end the practice of tying temporary foreign workers to their employers. Representatives from four Island groups spoke at a news conference in Charlottetown Wednesday about what they say is ‘discrimination against migrant workers’.”

About 1,000 temporary foreign workers on Prince Edward Island have work permits that restrict them to working for a specific employer.

The Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights Canada states, “Low-waged migrant workers are restricted to working for the specific employer listed on their permit. Changing employers is extremely difficult which allows bad bosses to lower salaries and work conditions for migrant workers. As a result, wages and conditions worsen for everyone in the labour market.”

The campaign demands: 1) Regulatory changes to make it easier for migrant workers to move between jobs thereby improving working and living conditions for Canadian born and migrant workers. Specifically: a) transition from tied work permits to open work permits, b) remove limits on work permits and restrictions on Labour Market Impact Assessments including a 4-year time-limit on workers ability to stay. 2) Permanent resident immigration status upon arrival for migrant workers.

Beyond our P.E.I. chapter, the Prince Edward Island groups in this coalition also include P.E.I.’s Cooper Institute, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, the P.E.I. Food Security Network, and the Women’s Network P.E.I. The article highlights that they are “part of a nation-wide campaign called MoVE (Mobility, Voice, and Equality for Migrant Workers) by the Coalition for Migrant Workers Rights.”

To read more about MoVE campaign, please click here.

The Council of Canadians believes in immigration status and full protection for all workers.

Further reading
Trans-Pacific Partnership would mean more temporary foreign workers (October 2015 blog)
The Council of Canadians opposes Harper’s “four and four” rule for migrant workers (February 2015 blog)