Pro­gram changes rules for un­paid im­mi­grant work place­ments

Char­ity to re­de­velop its gov­ern­ment funded pre-em­ploy­ment pro­gram to com­ply with labour laws

StarMetro Halifax - - CANADA & WORLD - ALEX MCKEEN

A Van­cou­ver non-profit that works with new im­mi­grants is re­de­vel­op­ing its gov­ern­ment funded pre-em­ploy­ment pro­gram to com­ply with labour laws.

Last week, Starmetro re­ported that a pro­gram at South Van­cou­ver Neigh­bour­hood House refers new im­mi­grants to vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties that may help them get ex­pe­ri­ence and land jobs in the fu­ture. But some of the vol­un­teer po­si­tions were un­paid work place­ments at for­profit com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing a Sub­way restau­rant fran­chise.

In­clud­ing for-profit com­pa­nies in the pro­gram was an “er­ror,” ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor Zahra Es­mail said in an email.

“We will be dis­con­tin­u­ing the prac­tice of plac­ing par­tic­i­pants with com­pa­nies im­me­di­ately, and re­de­vel­op­ing the pro­gram to en­sure we are in line with labour stan­dards,” Es­mail wrote. Es­mail said nei­ther the pro­gram’s fed­eral fun­der, Im­mi­gra­tion, Refugees and Cit­i­zen­ship Canada, nor the “place­ment part­ners” were to blame, “as it was our re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure we were com­pli­ant with fed­eral and pro­vin­cial laws.”

A spokesper­son from IRCC said the “con­tri­bu­tion agree­ments” it has with more than 500 or­ga­ni­za­tions stip­u­late that pro­grams must com­ply with lo­cal laws and by­laws. Toy­ota Mo­tor Corp. will in­vest $1 bil­lion in South­east Asian ride-hail­ing firm Grab Inc., re­flect­ing Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Akio Toy­oda’s view that the com­pany needs to ex­pand be­yond mak­ing cars to sur­vive.

Toy­ota plans bil­lion-dollar in­vest­ment in ride-hail­ing startup Grab

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