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Employer Fined $365,000, Banned from Hiring Foreign Workers for Two Years For violation of the Temporary Foreign Worker Policies

Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) allows companies to hire skilled labor from abroad to address labor shortages. However, concerns are rising about exploitation within the program, with the government recently imposing record fines on non-compliant employers.

Certain work permit programs, like parts of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP), restrict foreign workers to a single employer. These programs are overseen by the government, with inspections conducted by the Employment Department for the TFWP and the Immigration Department for relevant parts of the IMP.

Key Points:

  • Increased Scrutiny and Fines: The federal government penalized nearly 200 companies in 2023 for violating TFWP rules, resulting in $2.7 million in fines – a significant increase from previous years. The average fine has also jumped to nearly $29,000 in 2024, compared to $3,200 in 2019.

  • Examples of Violations: Infractions include wage theft, poor working conditions, and failing to prevent workplace abuse.

  • Exploitation Concerns: Some economists and advocates worry that companies might misuse the program by relying on temporary workers who are less likely to complain or quit, creating potential for exploitation.

  • Enforcement Challenges: While the government conducts inspections, not all employers are audited, and some fines remain unpaid. There are also concerns that current fines may not be a strong enough deterrent.

There are larger companies that argue the system works as they fear being penalized for violations while some smaller companies might unintentionally fall into non-compliance and rectify issues promptly. In addition, the current enforcement might not be comprehensive enough to identify all violations and existing fines might be too low to discourage companies from exploitation. It’s always important to ensure that you are adhering to policies as an employer.

What next?

If you are an employer in Canada, we can help you fill your labor shortage. InfoPlace Canada offers services where we provide guidance and assistance to business owners who are interested in applying for an LMIA in order to hire foreign workers. If you are a worker with a job offer and need assistance with your work permit application, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at

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