Bill C: 56 : The Preventing the Trafficking, Abuse and Exploitation of Vulnerable Immigrants Act

Bill C: 56 : The Preventing the Trafficking, Abuse and Exploitation of Vulnerable Immigrants Act contains no specifics on how it will combat exploitation, and is merely only the latest in a series of Acts that have sought to increase the power of the Minister to unilaterally change Canadian immigration law.

The Power to Refuse Work Permit Applications

Section 30(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act currently reads:

Work and study in Canada

30. (1) A foreign national may not work or study in Canada unless authorized to do so under this Act.

If passed, Bill C-56 will amend this section so that it reads:

Work and study in Canada

30. (1) A foreign national may not work or study in Canada unless authorized to do so under this Act.

(1.1) An officer may, on application, authorize a foreign national to work or study in Canada if the foreign national meets the conditions set out in the regulations.

(1.2) Despite subsection (1.1), the officer shall refuse to authorize the foreign national to work in Canada if, in the officer’s opinion, public policy considerations that are specified in the instructions given by the Minister justify such a refusal.

(1.3) In applying subsection (1.2), any refusal to give authorization to work in Canada requires the concurrence of a second officer.

(1.4) The instructions shall prescribe public policy considerations that aim to protect foreign nationals who are at risk of being subjected to humiliating or degrading treatment, including sexual exploitation.

(1.5) The instructions shall be published in the Canada Gazette.

(1.6) The instructions take effect on the day on which they are published, or on any later day specified in the instructions, and apply in respect of all applications for authorization to work in Canada, including those that were filed before that day and for which a final decision has not been made.

(1.7) The instructions cease to have effect on the day on which a notice of revocation is published in the Canada Gazette.

Bill C-56 essentially says “the government can introduce measures as it wants to protect foreign nationals who are at risk of being subjected to humiliating or degrading treatment without going to Parliament”.

If the Conservatives want to introduce criteria for immigration officers to refuse work permit applications, then why not specify these requirements in the Act, and have Parliament vote on them?


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