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Impression et sauvegarde


The Temporary Foreign Worker Program: Canada’s Unconscionable Labour Mobility Strategy

Ce document est une ressource clé




Andre Rivard


Advocating for the labour rights of all workers, including the many who quickly discover their own class susceptibilities as they toil in precarious employment situations, brings with it many unique and interesting challenges; however, when the element of one’s immigration status is introduced into the context, an entirely different saga emerges. The demographic of precarious status migrant workers in Canada is composed of individuals with a plethora of subjective migratory experiences, having arrived amidst different contexts, each equipped with a unique legal status, and therefore resulting in different (often restricted) opportunities for social and economic participation in Canadian life. In focussing nevertheless on just one subset of this demographic – migrants arriving under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) – it is an analysis of their disconcerting commonalities, namely: non-permanent status, the consequent grave vulnerability to social and labour abuses, over-representation in “low-skilled” remedial
labour circumstances, and the significant barriers they face towards attaining permanent residency, which has urgently demanded the current review.
My Independent Study Project (SWRK690) focuses on the existing immigration programs available to “temporary foreign workers” arriving to Canada, namely how these potentially exploitative programs have interfered with: the exercise of reclaiming one’s labour and/or human rights, the access to health and social services for participants’, and the resulting implications that ensue for clinical and community social workers, policy stakeholders, and researchers. I will address the program’s current foundation, while providing an expanded clarification of the legislation itself and a summary of the most likely vulnerabilities awaiting its
workforce, by tracing the pulse of the argument from community groups and individuals opposed to the program. As the TFWP evidently gains in popularity, the outlook for the program’s longer-term sustainability will be juxtaposed against the (lack of) opportunities available to workers wishing to transition from temporary to permanent resident status. The present exposé will serve to summarize the predominant objections to the TFWP, with a commitment not to
dismiss the firsthand practical experiences felt by workers’1, as past reports of this nature have risked doing.

Number of pages



McGill University

Département académique

Social Work



Lieu de publication


Fichiers joints

Secteurs économiques

Agriculture and horticulture workers, Occupations in services - Domestic work, Sales and service occupations - general, Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations - general, Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations - general, Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing, Dancers et Autre

Types de contenu

Policy analysis et Initiatives de soutien

Groupes cibles


Pertinence géographique

Canada, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, Colombie-Britannique, Autres provinces, Fédéral, Nouvelle-Écosse et National relevance

Sphères d’activité

Gestion des ressources humaines et Travail social