Ontario’s signature legislation on immigration is heading in the right direction, but could benefit by some review and further scrutiny.
Lynda Leonard, Senior Vice President with ITAC, told the province’s Standing Committee on Justice Police April 16 that the framework for the legislation (Bill 49) is sound but the ICT industry has concerns about the execution of the strategy.
With demand for ICT jobs outstripping supply, she said ready access to the global information and communications technology workforce is vital to the industry ambition to continue to build a robustly competitive ICT industry in Canada.
“Getting the policy framework right for the free flow of global ICT workers who may or may not be seeking permanent residence is important to us,” she said.
Concerns outlined by Ms. Leonard include:
The need for an employers registry. Participating in all existing programs for the recruitment of foreign workers already requires full disclosure. It seems to be a duplication of effort and adds another step to the compliance process
Inspection of workplaces without warrants. Warrants for an employer’s premises can be easily obtained in Ontario and they should be used judiciously when there are reasons to suspect an employer is not in compliance.
Financial penalties: The fines for employers in breach of compliance are unreasonably onerous and there is no cap. The penalties designed to reduce abuse may in fact deter use of the program
Banning applications: Banning employers from making application under the program for a period of two years is a severe penalty. There is no appeal process to challenge the ruling.