Calgary

Alberta looks to protect temporary foreign workers

The Alberta government announced new rules aimed at protecting temporary foreign workers.

The Alberta government announced new rules aimed at protecting temporary foreign workers.

The Conservatives say they're closing loopholes that allow employment agencies to take advantage of foreign workers seeking jobs in Alberta.

Agencies will now be required to keep full records of their recruiting activities and register their agencies with the provincial government.

Service Alberta Minister Manmeet Bhullar announced new temporary foreign worker rules in Calgary Thursday. (CBC)

Service Alberta Minister Manmeet Bhullar made the announcement in Calgary Thursday.

"There's been a great demand for labour as we all know, and ... a lot of these shady operators have jumped up," he said. "They've been very sneaky in how they operate."

Bhullar says he has heard stories of family members of temporary foreign workers being charged by agencies.

"Now a family member — brother, sister, family friend — cannot be charged a fee to help somebody get a job," he said.

Agencies with a history of complaints will also have to pay a security bond that could cost up to $25,000.

"So if someone has a questionable background, they have to post a bond now. If we receive a complaint, we can increase that or if we don’t receive complaints we can decrease," said Bhullar.

The new rules come into effect this September.