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Economic Immigration, Provincial Nominee Program, Temporary Foreign Workers, Insecurities, Vulnerabilities, Evaluation, Workers Rights


Temporary foreign workers in Canada experience substandard employment relationships, are explicitly denied many formal rights and are practically excluded from most employment protections. Led by a growing emphasis on workers’ temporary status as a root cause of their employment-related vulnerabilities, some advocates, as well as elected officials, are now calling on governments to improve opportunities for workers to attain permanent residency in Canada, primarily for those in lower-skilled occupations. The central aim of this paper is to evaluate whether Provincial Nominee Programs are likely to address the real insecurities faced by vulnerable lower-skilled temporary foreign workers. Given that there are multiple potential pathways that could be designed for temporary workers to make the transition to permanent residency, a basic assumption of this study is that different paths are likely to lead to substantially different outcomes for workers, as well as for employers and communities. In all cases, these diverging outcomes should be assessed in terms of their overall efficacy at confronting individual workers’ current insecurities and in terms of their long-term effects on governments’ abilities to coordinate pathways between provincial jurisdictions and with the federal government.