PRO­GRAM CHANGES RULES FOR UN­PAID IMMIGRANT WORK PLACE­MENTS

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

StarMetro Toronto - - BIG OPINIONS - 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 for-profit com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing a Sub­way restau­rant fran­chise.

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

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.

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