Libby Speaks out Against the Exploitation of Migrant Workers

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the reason that Atlantic Canadians are being turned down is so that big oil companies can move faster on their cheap labour strategy, aided and abetted by the Conservative government.

Yesterday we learned that Chinese temporary foreign workers in the tar sands were paid one-eighth of what Canadians get for doing the same work. Another report from BC found that migrant workers in Canada are “under conditions that amount to indentured servitude”.

Will the government commit to halting these exploitive programs and adopt the UN convention on the rights of migrant workers? Will it stop this atrocious exploitation of workers?

Hon. Monte Solberg (Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, we are always concerned whenever there is an accusation that temporary foreign workers are having their rights abused. Under the law they have the same rights as any Canadian.

This government has moved in a number of ways to ensure that those rights are protected, including providing them with information in their own language so they know who they can go to for help and establishing memorandums of understanding so we can share information with the provinces. The provinces have stepped up with more monitoring.

We are there to protect the rights of all Canadians as well as those rights of temporary foreign workers.