OTTAWA, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The Canadian government announced Wednesday that it will no longer allow sex trade-related businesses from hiring temporary foreign workers.
On July 14, the federal Citizenship and Immigration Department will also no longer process any new work permit applications from temporary foreign workers intending to work at strip clubs, escort services or massage parlors.
"Our government is committed to protecting all workers from abuse, exploitation and demeaning work," said Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley, whose department manages a labor market opinion assessment that determines whether employment offers to foreign workers would affect Canadian jobs.
Foreign nationals brought to Canada to work in sex trade related businesses are particularly at risk of being exploited or abused. Denying these businesses access to temporary foreign workers will help protect vulnerable individuals by keeping them out of these types of situations.
In early June, the Canadian government launched a four-year, 25- million-Canadian dollar National Action Plan that involves 18 federal departments to Combat Human Trafficking.
As of last month, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police - the country's national police service - reported that there were 23 cases in Canada in which 42 people were convicted of human trafficking and other related offenses involving 56 victims.
About 59 cases remain before the courts involving 98 people accused of human trafficking 147 victims.
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada jointly administer the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) under Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
The TFWP is responsive to economic and labor force changes, while at the same time ensuring that the hiring of a temporary foreign worker will not have a negative impact on Canada's job market.
Through that program, migrant workers are supposed to have the same rights and protections under federal or provincial employment standards and labor laws, and be paid at the same rate that a Canadian worker would receive for the same job.
In April, Ottawa bolstered the protections by implementing a two-year ban against employers who fail to provide temporary foreign workers with proper wages and working conditions.
A Manitoba company recently pled guilty and was fined 12,000 Canadian dollars for employing three illegal foreign workers, who were deported last year back to the Philippines.
Meanwhile last month, the founding president of the Temporary Foreign Workers Association of Canada - an organization intended to help newcomers - was charged with five counts each of fraud and theft over five thousand dollars after allegedly defrauding a Japanese woman in Canada on a student visa of more than two million dollars in property and cash.
The company that runs Denny's restaurants in Canada also faces a 10-million-dollar class action lawsuit involving about 70 temporary foreign workers recruited from the Philippines to work as cooks and servers in the first Canadian case to address temporary foreign workers' claims that a Canadian employer is liable for breaches of obligations or duties relating to their employment in Canada.
While Citizenship and Immigration Canada reports that over 150, 000 temporary foreign workers enter Canada every year, there are reports that number may double. (1 U.S. dollar = 1.0124 Canadian dollars)