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Interrogating the Impact of Recent Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program on Temporary Foreign Workers in Alberta

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Following a peak in the number of migrants admitted to Canada via its Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the program underwent significant changes in 2014 and 2015 that will undoubtedly affect the lives of temporary foreign workers in Canada. These changes include a limitation on the length of time temporary foreign workers are allowed to remain in the country, a greater distinction between high- and low-wage workers, and more restricted rights for low-wage workers. So far, the impacts of these recent policy changes on temporary foreign workers in Canada have not been the subject of much research. Thus, we sought to examine the impact of recent policy changes of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program on these migrants specifically in Alberta. Using a critical qualitative research methodology, we conducted three focus groups with thirty-five temporary foreign workers in Alberta. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and thematically analyzed with the aid of an NVivo qualitative data analysis software. Findings from the focus groups reveal that the recent changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program policy have created a burden for temporary foreign workers as well as their employers, intensified the exploitation of migrant workers, and contributed to a high level of anxiety and poor mental health status among these workers. This study has two major policy recommendations: (1) grant open work permits to temporary foreign workers, and (2) create pathways to citizenship for low-skilled temporary foreign workers in Alberta. The study also recognizes a need for future action research.

  • Date created
    2016-03-22
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Report
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3K649X11
  • License
    Attribution 4.0 International