Liberal government eliminates notorious rule that kicked out migrant workers after four years, ending what critics dubbed the ‘revolving door’ for indentured labour to Canada.
Ottawa has eliminated the notorious “4-in-4-out” rule that kicked out migrant workers after four years, ending what some critics call the “revolving door” of indentured labour to Canada.
“In many ways, the four-year rule put a great deal of uncertainty and instability on both temporary workers and employers. We had the sense that it was an unnecessary burden on applicants and employers, and also on officers who process applications,” Immigration Minister John McCallum said in a news releaseposted late Tuesday.
“We believe this important recommendation . . . requires rapid action, which we are taking today.”
The former Tory government introduced the rule in 2011 to ban migrant workers from returning to Canada for four years after they worked here for four.
“We’re caught off guard by the announcement. Everyone was expecting it in January, but this is a positive development,” said York University political science professor Ethel Tungohan, who specializes in migrant activism.
“Many migrant workers have felt insecure with their status because of this rule. This is the result of the hard work by advocacy groups who have been lobbying the government for change.”
Ottawa said it will also require low-wage employers to advertise openings first to the under-represented groups in the workforce — youth, persons with disabilities, indigenous people and newcomers — before they fill the positions with temporary migrant workers.
However, the percentage of low-wage migrant workers at a business will still be capped at 20 per cent for employers who accessed the program before June 20, 2014, and at 10 per cent for those who did after that date.
McCallum did not provide details on how the government is going to develop more pathways for eligible migrant workers to become permanent residents.
“This repeal is a first step which came about because migrant workers organized against an unjust rule that resulted in thousands of deportations and migrants becoming undocumented,” said Syed Hussan of the Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights Canada.
“We need permanent status for migrant workers already here and (for) those that were uprooted and forced out, for it to be really meaningful.”