Canada: Foreign workers program challenged in court

A husband and wife who own two chain restaurants in Labrador have launched a constitutional challenge against Ottawa’s move to keep them from hiring foreign workers and place their businesses on an online blacklist.

This is the first legal action against the federal government’s revamped temporary foreign workers program since new enforcement measures were brought in to tame public outrage over alleged abuse of the program by Canadian employers.

If the challenge is successful, the federal court could strike down the new measures — which include a ban on hiring foreign restaurant workers in areas with employment above 6 per cent — and force the government to reconfigure how it administers the controversial migrant workers’ program.

In 2013, Jeff and Miriam Staples, owners of Jungle Jim’s Restaurant and Greco Pizza franchises, had made five labour market opinion (LMO) applications to hire about 20 migrant workers. However, the three applications approved in October were suspended by Employment Minister Jason Kenney earlier this year.

Although the couple was notified of the suspension, they were not informed that Kenney also published their company names on his website…

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