Assessment of the Migrant Worker Support Network Pilot: Final report

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List of abbreviations

AMSSA
The Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of British Columbia
CANN
The Community Airport Newcomers Network
CBSA
Canada Border Services Agency
CRA
Canada Revenue Agency
ESDC
Employment and Social Development Canada
IRCC
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
LMIA
Labour Market Impact Assessment
MOSAIC
Multilingual Orientation Services Association for Immigrant Communities
SAWP
Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program
SUCCESS
The United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society
SWOT
Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
TFW
Temporary foreign worker
TFWP
Temporary Foreign Worker Program
WorkSafe BC
The Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia

List of figures

List of tables

Executive summary

Background

The Department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) implemented the Migrant Worker Support Network pilot in British Columbia to enhance the protection of migrant workers by supporting and empowering them to learn about, understand and exercise their rights while in Canada. The network was comprised of organizations and individuals committed to working collaboratively on issues relating to the protection and empowerment of migrant workers in British Columbia and included 2 components: a funding program and network meetings. The total announced budget was $3.4 million to be spent over the 2-year pilot period beginning in March 2018 and ending in March 2020.

An assessment of the network will support future funding and policy decisions by the Government of Canada, including decisions on next steps for expanding worker protection activities and collaborative efforts into other regions of Canada. The assessment is based on a document review and engagement of 78 diverse stakeholders (including migrant workers; migrant worker support organizations; government representatives; employers and industry representatives; union representatives; and independent experts) through interviews, focus groups and surveys between January and March 2021. The assessment was designed by the Evaluation Directorate at ESDC and conducted by Ference and Company.

Summary of findings

Network activities contributed to enhanced stakeholders' knowledge, collaboration and for migrant workers specifically, network activities provided support to report wrongdoing. For instance, the assessment found that there were improvements related to the following desired outcomes and sub-objectives of the network over the pilot period:

  • network meetings and activities supported by the funding program jointly contributed to increasing migrant workers' knowledge of their rights to remain and work in Canada free from harassment and abuse. This was particularly achieved by enabling migrant worker support organizations to conduct outreach and deliver information directly to migrant workers through accessible resources and events (for example, in languages spoken by migrant workers) and through their knowledge of the local context
  • education, support and outreach need of stakeholders (other than migrant workers) were similarly addressed through resources and events (particularly information sessions) provided by organizations funded through the funding program, as well as at network meetings and through meetings with ESDC officials
  • network activities also increased connections, strengthened relationships, helped build trust among stakeholders and fostered collaboration by providing opportunities for stakeholders to meet, exchange information, find common ground and increase their capacity to provide outreach and support to migrant workers. Relationships strengthened through network activities supported longer-term dialogue among stakeholders as well  
  • similar to learning about their rights, migrant workers often learned about their options for reporting wrongdoing through events, activities and outreach provided by migrant worker support organizations that were funded through the funding program. These organizations were also particularly praised for their ability to help migrant workers report wrongdoing and feel comfortable doing so, although considerable uncertainty and fear about what would happen after reporting remained

However, less progress was identified in relation to the following desired outcomes and sub-objectives:

  • stakeholders emphasized that there were outstanding opportunities to enhance harmonization among stakeholders, particularly by reducing replication in resources, services and supports provided by migrant worker support organizations
  • while network meetings led to the development and approval of 11 recommendations to improve migrant worker protections as well as provided opportunities for ESDC to gather stakeholder input and improve funding allocation over time, many stakeholders perceived that the network lacked focus on policy development and informing government action overall
  • no network activities or outputs were identified to have a direct link to improving the detection or deterrence of abuse of migrant workers. Further, stakeholders emphasized that there were outstanding challenges and barriers to detecting and deterring abuse due to the downstream or reactive focus of the network and lack of government inspection, enforcement and information sharing
  • there were indications that employers most in need of information about their responsibilities in upholding migrant workers' rights were not being reached through the network, for instance, there was limited participation among smaller employers and employers in less engaged sectors. Furthermore, "bad actors" could simply opt out of participating

Other key strengths and opportunities that were seized to support successful network implementation included the flexible nature of the funding program, responsiveness to stakeholder feedback and providing interpretation/translation in migrant workers' preferred languages. Meanwhile, weaknesses centred on limitations to the clarity of network objectives or scope, some stakeholders' limited awareness of outcomes, uncertainty associated with the short-term nature of the funding program, tension between stakeholders resulting from the process of voting on recommendations and the redistribution of funding by a "peer" organization and barriers to network participation faced by migrant workers and other stakeholders, such as the time and cost of attendance. Finally, primary external threats to future success included reliance on stakeholder participation; possible influence of other programs, policies, or politics on stakeholder views about the network; and limitations of existing mechanisms, services and supports for migrant workers, including differences in level of support provided by different sending countries or available in different regions.

Looking forward

Stakeholders, including migrant workers, viewed the network favourably overall and would generally like to see it extended and expanded, particularly if there is greater clarity around goals and objectives. However, a small subset of stakeholders wouldn't like the network to continue in its current formulation, preferring more grassroots approaches.

Key aspects for consideration moving forward include:

  • extending the network in British Columbia, taking into account findings from the assessment, inclusive of opportunities to enhance the funding program (for example, maintaining flexibility and introducing longer funding agreements to reduce uncertainty) and network meetings (for example, incorporating in-person and virtual meeting formats and replacing voting with a more collaborative process)
  • ensuring there are clear processes to routinely share information back to network stakeholders
  • conducting targeted outreach to migrant workers and employers in sectors other than agricultural
  • providing opportunities for stakeholders to identify and map outstanding and sector- and stream-specific needs and gaps to inform future decisions and increase alignment between network components
  • utilizing government network meetings to explore whether and how the network can better inform policies and funding decisions as well as increase collaboration between different levels and branches of government
  • if the network is expanded to other jurisdictions, conducting broad consultations to assess whether there is local interest and need for a network focused on migrant worker protection, and
  • developing a logic model and a data collection or reporting system for the network

Other considerations specific to expansion include exploring a national network component, balancing demand on ESDC against benefits of regular and meaningful engagement and conducting thorough planning and engagement prior to expansion.

Introduction

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) enables employers in Canada to hire foreign workers temporarily to meet short-term skill and labour needs when Canadians or permanent residents aren't available. It's governed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. The TFWP is jointly administered by ESDC and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), with support from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Migrant Worker Support Network pilot

Background

In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced its commitment to establish, on a pilot basis, a Migrant Worker Support Network for temporary foreign workers (TFWs). The network's mandate was to enhance the protection of migrant workers by supporting and empowering them to learn about, understand and exercise their rights while in Canada. The total announced budget for the pilot was $3.4 million, to be spent over the 2-year period beginning in March 2018 and ending in March 2020.

ESDC's TFWP launched the network in British Columbia in October 2018, following pre-network consultations that began in March 2018. At the time of the network's inception, British Columbia had a large number of TFWs relative to other provinces and territories, active community organizations supporting TFWs and an open work permit provision for migrant workers who faced abuse or were at risk of abuse in the context of their employment (now a national initiative administered by IRCC). This context was deemed favorable for the network pilot.

Members

The network comprised organizations and individuals committed to working collaboratively on issues relating to the protection and empowerment of migrant workers in British Columbia. Core members included:

  • migrant workers
  • migrant worker support organizations such as settlement agencies and other community-based organizations that support migrant workers
  • British Columbia government representatives who play a role in migrant worker protections
  • federal government representatives from ESDC and IRCC
  • representatives from employers and industry associations
  • union representatives
  • independent experts, and
  • consular and embassy representatives from countries with a large number of migrant workers in British Columbia

Structure

The 2 main components of the network included:

  1. Funding program: Three not-for-profit organizations received $2.6 million in contribution funding support from February 2019 to March 2020 to undertake projects aimed at building capacity of migrant workers to understand and exercise their rights, either directly or indirectly through the organizations that support them and to support employers to better understand and meet Program conditions and requirements. The organizations that received contribution agreements were Multilingual Orientation Services Association for Immigrant Communities (MOSAIC), the United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society (SUCCESS) and the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of British Columbia (AMSSA). Further, MOSAIC acted as a funding intermediary to redistribute funds to 23 other participating not-for-profit organizations. See Appendix 1 – Overview of contribution agreements for additional information about each contribution agreement
    • The funding program also included the collaboration committee that provided a forum for discussion between the 3 funding recipients and representatives from ESDC.
  2. Network meetings:
    • network plenary meetings were all-day meetings held every 3 to 4 months for network members to share information and work together to address issues related to migrant workers' rights, focused on British Columbia
    • working group meetings were held on an as-needed basis to develop solutions and recommendations on key issues to bring back to the core group for decision at network plenary meetings. Working group topics included preventing and responding to mistreatment and emergencies; addressing retribution and fear of retribution; and education, outreach and accessibility
    • migrant workers forums were all-day events held for migrant workers to learn about their rights and available support services, connect with community organizations and share concerns and opinions with service providers and government representatives. They also presented an opportunity for community organizations to share best practices on supporting migrant workers. Two migrant worker forums were held in 2019 and 1 was cancelled in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemicFootnote 1
    • the government network involved meetings between federal, provincial (British Columbia) and foreign government representatives from countries with large numbers of migrant workers in British Columbia to discuss issues and share ideas to support the coordination of activities related to supporting and protecting migrant workers   

Objectives

Due to the evolving nature of the network as a pilot, objectives were updated over time. For activities with direct impacts on migrant workers (such as the distribution of information pamphlets), desired outcomes included:

  • provide information to migrant workers on their rights to temporarily remain and work in Canada free from harassment and abuse
  • support migrant workers in reporting wrongdoing
  • detect and deter abuse of migrant workers, and
  • increase employers' awareness and understanding of program conditions and their responsibilities in upholding migrant workers' rights

Meanwhile, sub-objectives for activities with indirect influence on migrant workers (such as government network meetings) included:

  • address migrant workers' and other stakeholders' and partners' education, support and outreach needs
  • build trust, strengthen, collaboration and harmonize services
  • network and share information, and
  • develop policy and funding recommendations to improve worker protections (short-term and long-term)

Current status

The network's first phase ended on March 31, 2020. At that time, network meetings were paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resuming virtually in January 2021. All contribution agreements were also extended until June 30, 2021, and additional funding was provided to continue established activities and provide tailored resources and support in the context of COVID-19. A final round of network meetings is anticipated for May and June 2021 to conclude the British Columbia pilot. Next steps for the network, including possible expansion to other regions in Canada, are currently under consideration.

Structure of the report

This section introduces the TFWP and the Migrant Worker Support Network. The section that follows provides an overview of the assessment, inclusive of the methodology and associated challenges and limitations. The other 2 sections, Achievement of outcomes and Achievement of sub-objectives, present findings on the network's achievement of desired outcomes and sub-objectives, respectively. Then, the Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis section presents findings from a SWOT analysis and the Looking forward section presents considerations for the future. Finally, the report concludes with appendices that provide additional detail about contribution funding agreements, the assessment matrix and stakeholder engagement as part of the assessment.

Assessment overview  

Purpose and scope

Given the experimental nature of the pilot, an assessment of the network will support future funding and policy decisions by the Government of Canada, including decisions on next steps for expanding worker protection activities and collaborative efforts into other regions of Canada. Specifically, the assessment is intended to provide information on the network's achievement of the expected outcomes as well as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats over the period from March 2018 to March 2020, which included pre-launch consultations that occurred between March and October 2018. No prior evaluations or related assessments of the network have been conducted.

Assessment questions

The assessment responds to the following questions:

  1. To what extent have:
    1. Activities with direct influence on migrant workers contributed to the desired outcomes?
    2. Activities with indirect influence on migrant workers contributed to the sub-objectives?
  2. What lessons can be learned from the Migrant Worker Support Network pilot that can inform a future cross-Canada approach to migrant worker protection that includes a funding and stakeholder engagement component? 

Methodology

Approach

The assessment utilized multiple lines of evidence, including qualitative and quantitative data sources, to collect and synthesize information and triangulate findings related to each assessment question. A brief overview of each line of evidence is provided below, followed by an overview of stakeholders engaged throughout the assessment. The full assessment matrix is provided in Appendix 2 – Assessment matrix.

Lines of evidence included:

  • document review: Relevant program documents were analyzed to extract information related to the assessment questions, including the following:
    • pre-network (before October 2018) consultation notes and input from potential stakeholders
    • terms of reference
    • budget announcement
    • meeting agendas and meeting notes for key network meetings (working groups, plenary, migrant workers' forum, government network)
    • outline of member roles and responsibilities
    • list of recommendations for policy/funding changes proposed by network members
    • funding reports from 3 contribution funding recipients
  • key informant interviews: 19 interviews were conducted to collect in-depth information from stakeholders about the network and associated activities, whether these activities achieved the desired results, what worked well and where there were opportunities or areas for development. One-hour interviews were conducted over telephone, based on a semi-structured interview guide that included a combination of open-ended, qualitative questions as well as 7 closed-ended quantitative questions that asked participants to rate the network’s contribution to intended outcomes and sub-objectives using a Likert scale from 1 to 5 (scale shown further below).Footnote 2 Some interviews included more than 1 participant and a written response to the interview guide was accepted for 1 participant to mitigate scheduling conflicts
  • focus group discussions: 8 focus group discussions were conducted to assess how stakeholder perspectives differed and converged on a selection of topics related to the network and associated activities, including the achievement of desired results. Focus groups were conducted virtually over videoconference based on a semi-structured guide. Each discussion lasted approximately 1.5 hours. Groups were arranged such that all participants in a given discussion had related roles or focuses – for example, migrant workers who spoke the same language(s) were grouped together, employer and industry representatives were grouped together and government representatives were grouped together. A pool of eligible participants was identified by ESDC's Evaluation Directorate, with the exception of migrant workers, who were reached through migrant worker support organizations. Due to scheduling conflicts, 3 participants were instead interviewed by telephone after their group's initial discussion to explore how their views aligned with major themes.Footnote 3 For focus groups with migrant workers, interpretation in Spanish or Tagalog was available (based on the group) and a payment of $50 was provided to participants to offset costs. After all discussions, participants were given instructions on how to provide additional feedback in writing or by telephone should they wish to share any comments or clarification individually. No additional feedback was received
  • surveys: A short online survey (approximately 10 minutes) was conducted to gather information from stakeholders who didn't participate in network activities about the support they provided to migrant workers, their awareness of or perspectives on the network and considerations for future supports for migrant workers in British Columbia. The survey was distributed by email to 32 stakeholders, of which only 5 responded after exhaustion of email and telephone (where possible) follow-up, for a 15% response rate. A written survey based on the focus group guide for migrant workers was also provided to migrant worker support organizations in case any migrant workers felt more comfortable providing feedback in written format. No written survey responses were received from migrant workers

ESDC's Evaluation Directorate contracted Ference and Company Consulting Ltd. to conduct the assessment given limited internal capacity to meet the timely need for information to support upcoming funding and policy decisions. The Evaluation Directorate designed the assessment, conducted the funding program document review and provided materials and feedback, whereas Ference and Company conducted stakeholder engagement as well as a document review focused on pre-network consultation and research, overview materials and multi-stakeholder meetings. Ference and Company prepared the final report, which incorporated feedback from ESDC's Evaluation Unit and program staff.  

In total, 78 stakeholders were engaged between January and March 2021 as part of the assessment. The following table provides an overview of participants by stakeholder type and method of engagement. Additional information can be found in Appendix 3 – Additional detail on stakeholder engagement.

Table 1: Overview of participants with number of participants by method of engagement
Stakeholder type Interviews (method of engagement) Focus groups (method of engagement) Online survey (method of engagement) Total
Settlement agency – Migrant worker support organization 9 11 2 28
Other community-based organization – Migrant worker support organization 2Footnote 4 4 0 28
Migrant workersFootnote 5 n/a 18 n/a 18
Government representatives – Federal 5 1 n/a 17
Government representatives – Provincial 3 3 n/a 17
Government representatives – Foreign 2 2 1 17
Employer/industry representatives 3 5 1 9
Union representatives 2 2 n/a 4
Independent experts n/a 1 1 2
Total 26 47 5 78

Analysis and reporting

Documents and files were reviewed for evidence related to the assessment questions and indicators, such as activities, outputs, outcomes and stakeholder perspectives. Information collected through key informant interviews, focus group discussions and surveys was separately analyzed using thematic analysis or summary statistics, as appropriate. Comparisons across sub-groups were also undertaken to identify notable differences. The following scale is used to describe the frequency of qualitative responses across interviews:

Table 2: Frequency of qualitative interview responses
Response summary Frequency
All 100%
Almost all 85 to 99%
Most 70 to 84%
Majority 55 to 69%
Approximately half 45 to 54%
Many 30 to 44%
Several 16 to 29%
A few (or a number) <16%

The following figure shows how responses to quantitative interview questions are displayed throughout this report:

Figure 1: Likert scale for quantitative interview responses

Figure 1

Figure 1 – Text description

A Likert scale was used to show how responses to quantitative interview questions are displayed throughout this report. The range was from 5 to N/A, with each these meanings:

  • 5 equals "to a very great extent"
  • 4
  • 3 equals "to some extent"
  • 2
  • 1 equals "not at all"
  • N/A means "no rating"

Findings were synthesized and triangulated by assessment question and indicator to develop overall conclusions.

Challenges and limitations

Assessment findings should be interpreted with the following challenges and limitations in mind:

  • considerable time (between 1 to 3 years) elapsed since the beginning of the period covered by this assessment and the last in-person network meetings, which may have impacted the accuracy or completeness of stakeholders' recall
  • any progress made by the network following March 2020 is not captured in this assessment
  • there was a lack of documentation and quantitative output and outcomes data in some instances (for example, incomplete notes for initial network meetings and no attendance record for some network meetings), which limited ability to fully assess network outputs and achievements
  • migrant worker participants were recruited indirectly with the support of migrant worker support organizations and are not representative of all migrant workers in British Columbia. For example, participants do not reflect the full diversity of migrant workers in British Columbia with respect to languages spoken, countries of origin, or TFWP stream and are likely better connected to community services/supports and the network than the average worker
  • due to difficulty identifying and engaging stakeholders who did not participate in network activities, stakeholders engaged in the network are overrepresented
  • stakeholders repeatedly acknowledged that migrant workers have limited trust of government and that organizations had been competing amongst themselves for funding at the network's outset, both of which suggest there could be incomplete participant disclosure in some instances
  • there was a low response rate to the Likert scale interview questions since numerous participants reported an inability or unwillingness to provide a rating to some or all scale questions due to having limited knowledge/data to inform their response or their positionality (for example, not wanting to speak on behalf of migrant workers) 
  • finally, due to feasibility constraints, most stakeholders who participated in the assessment live and work in British Columbia, limiting their ability to comment on the expansion of the network into other jurisdictions

Challenges and limitations were mitigated where possible by: conducting extensive outreach/follow-up and offering flexible participation formats to stakeholders to increase participation;Footnote 6 probing during data collection to clarify attribution, understanding and hesitation to respond to some questions (for example, Likert scale questions); and considering data quality and limitations throughout analysis and triangulation. Regarding the latter, for example, greater priority was placed on findings that could be cross-validated with other sources or lines of evidence, that were supported by input from a greater number and type of participants, or that were supported by detailed explanations and examples.

Achievement of outcomes

The following sub-sections explore achievement of the 4 desired outcomes of the network. Each sub-section provides an overview of activities and outputs as well as progress made during the pilot period in relation to a given outcome.

Some indicators have been combined for reporting given the joint nature with which stakeholders provided feedback (that is, findings are interrelated). In addition, barriers, facilitators and other considerations not attributable to the network (represented by indicators 1a.10 to 1a.12) are discussed in relation to each desired outcome, as applicable.

Providing information on rights to migrant workers

Summary of findings: The combination of network meetings and funding program activities jointly contributed to increasing migrant workers' knowledge of their rights to remain and work in Canada free from harassment and abuse. The funding program especially supported provision of information to migrant workers by enabling migrant worker support organizations to conduct outreach and deliver meetings and events through which they could share information and resources with migrant workers. However, there were likely opportunities to directly reach more migrant workers through network activities by addressing participation barriers related to scheduling, travel, interpretation or translation and workers' ability to speak freely without fear of negative consequences.

Indicator 1a.1

Indicator 1a.1 is the extent to which the network increased the knowledge of migrant workers about their rights to remain and work in Canada free from harassment and abuse.

Activities and outputs

The following activities and outputs of the funding program and network meetings aligned with the desired outcome to provide information to migrant workers on their rights to temporarily remain and work in Canada free from harassment and abuse.

Funding programFootnote 7
  • Through the funding program, SUCCESS, MOSAIC and the 23 collaborating organizations funded by MOSAIC collectively delivered 148 activities to share information and increase knowledge about migrant workers' rights to remain and work in Canada free from harassment and abuse
  • Through these activities, migrant workers were provided information on a range of topics such as the Employment Standards Act, occupational health and safety regulations and bullying and harassment
  • Examples of the types of activities used to share information included information sessions (most common), an information kiosk for new arrivals at the airport, recreational activities such as community kitchens, health and resource fairs and other presentations such as a legal clinic for migrant workers. Information was also distributed through materials such as fact sheets, wallet-sized cards, brochures and radio shows and included information on topics such as laws, rights and responsibilities, employment standards, emergency phone numbers and health and safety issues
  • Recipients of this information included migrant workers from the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP), other agricultural workers, caregivers and migrant workers from industries such as cleaning, restaurant and construction. In addition to those employed in British Columbia, information delivered by SUCCESS also targeted workers destined to Alberta and Saskatchewan who first arrived in Canada at the Vancouver airport
  • Some activities shared information in languages other than English. For example, radio shows delivered by a MOSAIC collaborating organization provided information about migrant workers' rights in Spanish, French and Punjabi and brochures distributed by SUCCESS were translated into 7 languages
Network meetings
  • During 2 migrant worker forums held in June and November 2019, migrant worker attendees were provided with information and materials about their rights and could ask questions about their rights and learn about available services and resources. For example, a representative from the British Columbia Employment Standards Branch gave a presentation on employment standards and a representative from the British Columbia Temporary Foreign Working Protection Unit discussed requirements for temporary foreign worker recruiter licensing and employer registrationFootnote 8,Footnote 9 
  • Some migrant workers attended network plenary meetings and meetings or site visits with visiting ESDC officials and were available to receive information through those meetings as wellFootnote 10
Progress towards desired outcome

In 13 out of 19 of interviews (68%), interviewees agreed that network activities contributed to increasing migrant workers' knowledge about their rights to remain and work in Canada free from harassment and abuse "to some extent" or more. The remainder of responses included no rating (26%) or, in 1 instance, a rating less than "to some extent" (5%). Figure 2 displays the distribution of responses.

Figure 2: To what extent have network activities contributed to increasing migrant workers' knowledge about their rights to remain and work in Canada free from harassment and abuse? (n=19 interviews)

Figure 2

Figure 2 – Text description

Figure 2 shows to what extent network activities have contributed to increasing migrant workers' knowledge about their rights to remain and work in Canada free from harassment and abuse. Out of 19 interviews.

The findings were:

  • to some extent or more was 13 people or 68%
  • less than "to some extent" equals 1 person or 5%
  • no rating equals 5 people or 26%

Findings were synthesized and triangulated by assessment question and indicator to develop overall conclusions.

Stakeholders identified the following ways in which network activities, particularly the funding program, contributed to increasing migrant workers' knowledge of their rights:

  • all 3 focus group discussions with migrant workers revealed that migrant workers primarily received information about their rights from organizations supported by the funding program. Some migrant workers also attributed participation in migrant worker forums or their peers as a source of information about their rights. Migrant workers described learning about their rights through visits by migrant worker support organizations to their place of employment, materials provided by migrant worker support organizations and attending meetings with migrant worker support organizations to connect with other network stakeholders. Regarding the latter, for example, migrant workers in 1 focus group discussion recalled how they had learned about labour rights (for example, holidays, minimum wage), British Columbia's Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act and the open work permit for vulnerable migrant workers through various meetings and events hosted by migrant worker support organizations and attended by various government representatives, including consular representatives. A few migrant workers also recalled receiving information at network meetings such as the migrant worker forum in Delta in 2019

"I do feel confident because I know quite a bit from the sessions that I have attended."

Migrant worker
  • interviews with many representatives from migrant worker support organizations (n=6) and 2 survey responses (n=2) pointed to information sharing opportunities presented through network activities, including activities made possible with funding program support and at network meetings attended by migrant workers, particularly the migrant worker forum. A few interviewees also highlighted the positive contribution of both network components together: meetings and events provided a good opportunity to reach many migrant workers with consistent, accurate information, while outreach conducted by support organizations disseminated information more widely
  • three focus group discussions with migrant worker support organizations and other supporters (for example, union representatives) similarly conveyed that, with funding program support, migrant worker support organizations were able to provide information and resources to migrant workers, including through outreach to migrant workers, in languages spoken by migrant workers and by making connections between migrant workers and other network stakeholders. One focus group discussion with migrant workers also included repeated acknowledgement of how helpful it was for migrant worker support organizations to provide services and/or language support to help migrant workers better understand and exercise their rights

However, stakeholders also identified various challenges, limitations and areas for improvement with respect to the network's ability to meet migrant workers' information needs:

  • most migrant workers reported that they had been unaware of their rights prior to outreach from a migrant worker support organization. This was a common theme across focus group discussions with migrant workers. Further, only a few migrant workers recalled receiving information about their rights upon arrival at the airport in Vancouver, which contrasted with feedback from SUCCESS, government and employer and industry representatives who had favourable reports about the reach of this initiative. A possible explanation based on comments from several migrant workers was that learning information in a new environment is a gradual process and that more guidance to support workers in understanding and exercising their rights is still required. This could signal that information provided by SUCCESS at the airport is a good and necessary first step or "primer" but that it is not sufficient to address migrant workers' information needs without follow-up or that information may not be reaching all migrant workers

"Only after spending time here is when we as migrant workers start to learn more."

Migrant worker (translated)
  • in many interviews across groups, stakeholders reported that there had been limited participation of migrant workers in network plenary and working group meetings (n=7), which they attributed to when the meetings were held (for example, plenary meetings were held during the workweek and some migrant workers work on weekends) and/or lack of accommodations provided to support meaningful participation of migrant workers. These sentiments were echoed in focus group discussions with employer and industry representatives and migrant worker support organizations and other supporters (for example, union representatives), who also flagged barriers around distance and travel costs to attend meetings. Migrant worker support organization representatives and a couple of employment/industry representatives also perceived that migrant workers had limited comfort speaking freely in a formalized setting when employers and/or government representatives were present due to the precariousness of migrant workers' employment (for example, dependence on their employer for a work permit) and limited trust in government personnel. While migrant workers did not identify any major barriers to their participation in network meetings, the comparatively lower awareness and uptake of formal network meetings among migrant workers compared to less formal meetings and events hosted by support organizations nonetheless indicates some barriers may have been present

"As an employer, we could see there are trust issues and hesitations with the workers to share."

Employer/industry representative

"It is very difficult for [migrant workers] to attend plenary sessions and take time off from work. They need to be compensated to be able to attend the meetings. Their employers don't want them to attend these meetings."

Migrant worker support organization representative
  • despite the helpfulness of language supports provided by funded organizations, migrant workers in one discussion stressed that there is a need for even more interpretation and translation support from both migrant worker support organizations and employers to enable workers to fully understand and exercise their rights, particularly as it relates to reporting wrongdoing
  • finally, stakeholders from a few interviews also noted that providing migrant workers with knowledge about their rights was of limited use without also increasing their ability to exercise those rights (n=3)

"Now the workers know about their rights, but the issues still remain."

Migrant worker support organization representative

Supporting migrant workers in reporting wrongdoing

Summary of findings: The combination of network meetings and funding program activities jointly contributed to increasing migrant workers' awareness of mechanisms and supports available for reporting wrongdoing, although there were indications that further effort is required to increase reach. As with learning about their rights, migrant workers tended to learn about their options for reporting wrongdoing through events, activities and outreach provided by funded organizations, as well as through network meetings to a lesser extent. Connecting with migrant worker support organizations through meetings and events also provided migrant workers with means to access additional information or support at a later date, if needed. Funded organizations were particularly praised for their ability to help migrant workers report wrongdoing and feel comfortable doing so and migrant workers also emphasized the beneficial role of information sharing and support among their peers. However, considerable uncertainty and fear about what would happen after reporting remained, even with the option to obtain an open work permit for vulnerable workers.

Indicators 1a.2 and 1a.3

These indicators are:

  • 1a.2: Extent to which the network increased the awareness of migrant workers of the mechanisms to report wrongdoing 
  • 1a.3: Extent to which the network increased the awareness of migrant workers of support available for reporting wrongdoing
Activities and outputs

The following activities and outputs of the funding program and network meetings aligned with increasing awareness of migrant workers of mechanisms and support for reporting wrongdoing.

Funding programFootnote 11
  • SUCCESS, MOSAIC and the 23 collaborating organizations funded by MOSAIC collectively provided information to migrant workers about how and where to report health and safety infractions, workplace injury and crime, as well as about open work permits for vulnerable workers, financial support available after reporting an issue and who to talk to if unsure about whether to report an issue
  • MOSAIC collaborating organizations provided information on reporting wrongdoing through 13 events and sessions delivered. SUCCESS distributed information on reporting wrongdoing through brochures, wallet-sized informational sheets, emails, the Community Airport Newcomers Network (CANN) website and the CANN self-service electronic desk. MOSAIC delivered 12 events and sessions and an informational brochure that shared information with migrant workers about open work permits for vulnerable workers and other available support
  • Migrant workers targeted by these activities included caregivers and workers in the SAWP, as well as others. A survey conducted by SUCCESS found that most beneficiaries reported awareness of their rights and how to exercise them after receiving CANN services
Network meetings
  • Two migrant worker forums were held in June and November 2019 during which migrant worker attendees were provided with information on how to report wrongdoing and the options and supports available to do so. For example, IRCC presented about the open work permit for vulnerable workers and the Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia (WorkSafe BC) provided an overview of what workers could expect in response to a workplace accidentFootnote 12,Footnote 13
  • As discussed previously, migrant workers also received information by attending other network meetings, such as meetings with visiting ESDC officials or network plenary meetings
Progress towards desired outcome

In 11 out of 19 interviews (58%), interviewees agreed that network activities contributed to increasing the awareness of migrant workers on how to report wrongdoing "to some extent" or more. Only 1 response indicated that the network contributed to this desired outcome less than "to some extent" (5%), while the remainder of responses did not include a rating (37%). Figure 3 displays the distribution of responses.

Figure 3: To what extent have network activities contributed to increasing the awareness of migrant workers on how to report wrongdoing? (n=19 interviews)

Figure 3

Figure 3 – Text description

Figure 3 shows to what extent have network activities contributed to increasing the awareness of migrant workers on how to report wrongdoing. Out of 19 interviews.

The findings were:

  • to some extent or more was 11 people or 58%
  • less than "to some extent" equals 1 person or 5%
  • no rating equals 7 people or 37%

In 9 out of 19 interviews (47%), interviewees agreed that network activities contributed to increasing migrant workers' awareness of support available to report wrongdoing "to some extent" or more. However, an equal number of responses did not include a rating (47%) and 1 response indicated that the network contributed to this desired outcome less than "to some extent" (5%). Figure 4 displays the distribution of responses.

Figure 4: To what extent have network activities contributed to increasing migrant workers' awareness of support available to report wrongdoing? (n=19 interviews)

Figure 4

Figure 4 – Text description

Figure 4 shows to what extent network activities have contributed to increasing migrant workers' awareness of support available to report wrongdoing. Out of 19 interviews.

The findings were:

  • to some extent or more was 9 people or 47%
  • less than "to some extent" equals 1 person or 5%
  • no rating equals 9 people or 47%

Stakeholders described the following ways in which network activities increased migrant workers' awareness of mechanisms and support to report wrongdoing:

  • interviewees reiterated the information sharing mechanisms described in the Providing information on rights to migrant workers section for increasing migrant workers' knowledge of their rights – that is, through events, activities and outreach provided by funded organizations in particular (for example, presentations about tip lines and support options from migrant worker support organizations), as well as through network meetings to a lesser extent. In a few interviews (n=3), information provided to migrant workers by SUCCESS at the airport was also identified as a means to increase workers' awareness. Where interviewees provided lower ratings, they emphasized that additional outreach and information sharing is still required to ensure all migrant workers are aware of mechanisms and supports for reporting wrongdoing (n=2)
  • feedback from focus group discussions with migrant workers supports the notion that both network components – and particularly the funding program – supported migrant workers in learning about mechanisms and supports to report wrongdoing. While migrant workers in all discussions were generally familiar with mechanisms and/or supports available to them to report wrongdoing as a result of outreach or information provided by migrant worker support organizations, migrant workers in only 1 discussion group identified network meetings as a source of this information. Migrant workers in multiple groups also underscored the beneficial role of information sharing among peers (for example, using WhatsApp or during events hosted by funded organizations), indicating that information shared at meetings and events could have greater reach than initially suggested by official counts of worker attendance

"I heard the reporting process firsthand in Ladner. Also, because Labour and Employment was there, they talked about the online process on how to report if, for instance, you are not paid properly... And if you are afraid or not sure what to do, you can always go to the [support organization] and they will help you in filing the case or the complaint... I know what the process is."

Migrant worker

Indicator 1a.4

This indicator is the extent to which the network provided migrant workers with support to report wrongdoing.

Activities and outputs

The following activities and outputs of the funding program and network meetings provided migrant workers with support to report wrongdoing.

Funding programFootnote 14

MOSAIC collaborating organizations delivered 9 activities to support migrant workers to report wrongdoing and, in some cases, apply for an open work permit for vulnerable workers. Support provided in response to 4 emergencies included connecting migrant workers with supporters, securing alternate housing, or reporting the issue to media. Five other activities included provision of one-on-one services, online support, or workshops to help migrant workers file complaints to WorkSafe BC or the British Columbia Employment Standards Branch.

Network meetings

Migrant workers were able to connect with community organizations and government representatives at 2 migrant worker forums and other network meetings (for example, plenary meetings).Footnote 15, Footnote 16 These connections provided a means to access additional information or support to report wrongdoing later, if needed.

Progress towards desired outcome

Stakeholders described the contributions of these activities to increasing migrant workers' access to support to report wrongdoing as follows:

  • through focus group discussions, a couple of migrant workers provided examples of accessing support or referring a peer to support from a migrant worker support organization to report wrongdoing by an employer. One participant was among many workers who had been mistreated by the same employer. They described how a migrant worker support organization was able to inform them and their peers of their options and ultimately support them to apply for open work permits and find new housing and employment. Other migrant workers did not have anything specific to add other than emphasizing how helpful migrant worker support organizations had been
  • in line with comments from migrant worker comments, several migrant worker support organization representatives across focus group discussions as well as a few interviews (n=2) described how funded organizations had been able to support migrant workers to report wrongdoing, such as by supporting them to submit complaints to ESDC or the British Columbia Employment Standards Branch or offering legal advocacy, assistance, or case management services

Indicator 1a.5

This indicator is the extent to which the network increased the likelihood of migrant workers to report wrongdoing.

Activities and outputs

No activities or outputs of the funding program or network meetings were identified that directly increased the likelihood of migrant workers to report wrongdoing. However, as discussed in other sections of this report, network activities provided stakeholders with information on issues and barriers faced by migrant workers that they could use to inform service design or delivery as well as also built relationships and trust between migrant workers and migrant worker support organizations, which was seen as an enabler for reporting. Activities mentioned in the Support migrant workers in reporting wrongdoing section could also indirectly increase the likelihood of wrongdoing by increasing awareness of migrant workers of their rights and the mechanisms and support to report wrongdoing.

Progress towards desired outcome

Ten out of 19 interviewees (53%) did not include a rating for the extent to which network activities contributed to increasing migrant workers' willingness to report wrongdoing. The remainder included 6 responses that network activities had contributed to this desired outcome "to some extent" or more (32%) and 3 responses that reported contributions to a lesser extent (16%). Figure 5 displays the distribution of responses.

Figure 5: To what extent have network activities contributed to increasing migrant workers' willingness to report wrongdoing? (n=19 interviews)

Figure 5

Figure 5 – Text description

Figure 5 shows to what extent network activities have contributed to increasing migrant workers' willingness to report wrongdoing. Out of 19 interviews.

The findings were:

  • to some extent or more was 6 people or 32%
  • less than "to some extent" equals 3 people or 16%
  • no rating equals 10 people or 53%

Stakeholders attributed the following improvements in migrant workers' willingness to report wrongdoing to network activities: 

  • migrant workers strongly agreed during focus group discussions that support from migrant worker support organizations reduced their fear and was key for migrant workers to be comfortable in reporting wrongdoing. In fact, 1 migrant worker who had previously reported wrongdoing by their employer specifically noted that they had not been afraid to report the issue because they had support from a migrant worker support organization to navigate the process. The important role of migrant worker support organizations in building trust with migrant workers and encouraging and enabling them to come forward was also stressed during focus group discussions with migrant worker support organizations. Notably, providing supports and organizing social events that fell beyond the direct objectives of supporting migrant workers to understand and exercise their rights were identified mechanisms for building relationships and trust with migrant workers, laying the groundwork to then engage around more sensitive topics like abuse and trust for Canadian services and supports more broadly
  • in a few interviews, stakeholders similarly identified ways in which network activities increased migrant workers' willingness to report wrongdoing, such as by supporting development of an anonymous tip line available in different languages (n=2) or supporting development of relationships and trust with migrant worker support organizations that could ease workers' concerns and offer support (n=2). These positive developments were reiterated in focus group discussions with representatives from migrant worker support organizations and other supporters (for example, union representatives)

"[A staff member] started having this connection and they started opening up to him after a few visits and he would give them his personal cell phone and this they would connect using WhatsApp and they started telling him all sorts of horror stories…"

Migrant worker support organization representative

Nonetheless, stakeholders were quick to identify remaining barriers or deterrents to reporting: 

  • while most migrant workers believed that they would report problems with their employer, several identified remaining concerns or barriers they faced. These included uncertainty about the complaints process and fear of possible negative consequences, especially being unable to return to Canada for work in subsequent years or ending up in an even worse situation. Several migrant workers in 1 focus group discussion also agreed that the threat of losing their shelter was a significant barrier to reporting wrongdoing in the event that they spoke up and left an employer who was providing their housing. These concerns were raised by migrant workers at migrant worker forums and network plenary meetings as wellFootnote 17,Footnote 18

"If, for instance, I leave my employment, there is no shelter that I can go to for help and I don't want to burden my friends to stay with them because they also have no place of their own."

Migrant worker
  • interviewees, particularly those from migrant worker support organizations, also tended to focus on the barriers to reporting that hadn't been fully addressed by the network. The primary barrier identified during interviews was fear of consequences or uncertainty following submission of a complaint (n=6). For example, migrant workers worried about being fired, deported, or unable to secure employment in Canada in the future – including after expiry of an initial open work permit for vulnerable workers. In a few interviews, stakeholders also mentioned that migrant workers may worry about representatives from their sending country becoming aware of a complaint as it contradicted warnings they received to "not make waves" (n=3)
  • finally, in a few interviews, stakeholders pointed to limited motivation to report due to perceived lack of meaningful response (n=2). For example, a union representative illustrated workers' concerns that the risk of negative consequences outweighed the benefits. A similar sentiment was expressed by migrant workers during focus group discussions

"Workers are not motivated to complain because the employer won't lose anything, but the workers will lose their job and permit."

Union representative

Detecting and deterring abuse

Summary of findings: No activities or outputs of the funding program or network meetings were identified that had a direct link to improving the detection or deterrence of abuse of migrant workers. However, some migrant workers and other stakeholders believed the network may have contributed to increasing detection or deterrence of abuse to some extent by motivating better behaviour among employers if they knew that workers had access to information and support or by supporting stakeholders to connect, coordinate and collaborate to detect and respond to abuse when it came to their attention. External to the network, recent legislation was noted to have a direct contribution to detection and deterrence of abuse. Otherwise, stakeholders predominantly emphasized outstanding challenges and barriers to detecting and deterring abuse, particularly due to the downstream, reactive focus of the network and lack of government inspection, enforcement and information sharing.

Indicators 1a.6 and 1a.7

These indicators are:

  • 1a.6: Extent to which the network improved the detection of abuse
  • 1a.7: Extent to which the network deterred employers from abuse of migrant workers
Activities and outputs

No activities or outputs of the funding program or network meetings with a direct link to improving the detection or deterrence of abuse of migrant workers were identified.

Progress towards desired outcome

In 9 out of 19 interviews (47%), interviewees agreed that network activities contributed to increasing detection and/or deterrence of abuse of migrant workers "To some extent" or more. No responses indicated there had been network contributions to a lesser extent (0%), although approximately half of interviews did not include a rating (53%). Figure 6 displays the distribution of responses. 

Figure 6: To what extent have network activities contributed to increasing detection and/or deterrence of abuse of migrant workers? (n=19 interviews)

Figure 6

Figure 6 – Text description

Figure 6 shows to what extent have network activities contributed to increasing detection and/or deterrence of abuse of migrant workers. Out of 19 interviews.

The findings were:

  • to some extent or more was 9 people or 47%
  • less than "to some extent" equals 0 person or 0%
  • no rating equals 10 people or 53%

A few ways in which network activities may have contributed to increasing detection and deterrence of abuse were identified:

  • migrant workers from 2 focus group discussions and a government interviewee shared the perception that having engaged migrant worker support organizations contributed to deterring abuse because employers were more likely to uphold migrant workers' rights when migrant workers have access to information and support. As discussed in the Supporting migrant workers in reporting wrongdoing section, migrant worker support organizations were also viewed as instrumental in supporting migrant workers to learn about and decide to proceed with reporting, further underscoring the contributions of these organizations to migrant worker protection and support
  • further, several interviews with different stakeholder groups (n=4) included discussion about how network activities supported stakeholders to connect, coordinate and collaborate to detect and respond to abuse when it came to their attention – for instance, by sharing information about problem employers or reaching out to other stakeholders when they heard about concerns

"I don't know that without the community network we would have known about issues. We wouldn't have known of our problems that needed to be addressed."

Employer/industry representative
  • in many interviews across groups, stakeholders added that British Columbia's Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act (legislation introduced independently of the network that established a provincial role for oversight) had been the most notable change with respect to detection and deterrence of abuse in recent years (n=7). For instance, a foreign government representative noted that this legislation helped them to report non-compliant employers. Other efforts separate from the network that may have contributed to increases in the detection and deterrence of abuse included formation of a provincial working team to amplify concerns and oversee housing for agricultural migrant workers as well as a consular alliance with 8 major consulates

Despite these possible contributions of network activities and other recent initiatives in British Columbia, stakeholders predominantly emphasized outstanding challenges and barriers to detecting and deterring abuse that hadn't been addressed by the network. These included:

  • during focus groups, migrant worker support organization, government and employer/industry representatives agreed that network activities were too downstream and reactive to deter abuse of migrant workers by the handful of "bad actors" committing abuses. They believed that to deter or detect abuse would require more inspections and enforcement or other TFWP reforms. Feedback received during several interviews (n=5) – particularly with migrant worker support organization and union representatives – aligned

"We keep going back to the last line of defence: education. The root of the problem is if you have bad players, let's deal with them."

Government representative
  • during focus group discussions as well as the migrant worker forum in November 2019, migrant workers similarly expressed that the Canadian government could do more to address wrongdoing, particularly by levying steeper fines when employers do not uphold workers' rights or taking action to address ongoing discrimination by employers.Footnote 19 For example, 1 migrant worker who had experienced an issue with their employer reported that it was disheartening to hear that the employer received a fine of only $500 as this was seen as minimally deterring for repeat offences
  • multiple government representatives identified limited information sharing as a barrier to deterring and detecting abuse and one that had not been addressed by the network. Specifically, they described how there was a lack of proactive or reactive information sharing between provincial and federal government departments. As a result, there were limited opportunities for collaboration and coordination in monitoring and enforcement. For example, the British Columbia government did not receive information from the federal government about where migrant workers were employed or how many were employed at a given location, making it difficult to monitor through provincial processes (although the provincial government tried to combat this challenge by creating a registry of TFWP employers and recruiters). Multiple government representatives also pointed to the lack of information sharing agreements and processes between provincial and federal government departments (for example, ESDC and the British Columbia Employment Standards Branch) to share information about known "bad actors" that continue to receive migrant workers year after year. One added that due to limited information sharing between government partners, including foreign government representatives, employers could "country shop" if 1 government no longer wanted to send them workers due to past issues or abuses

Increasing awareness and understanding of employers

Summary of findings: Some employers received information about TFWP conditions and their responsibilities to uphold migrant workers' rights through outreach, events and resources provided by a funded organization, at network meetings, or through meetings/site visits with visiting ESDC officials and appreciated learning opportunities provided through the network. However, there were indications that employer and industry representatives engaged in the network already understood TFWP conditions and responsibilities prior to the network's establishment and that those most in need of the information were not being reached through the network – for instance, "bad actors" who could simply opt out of participating and smaller employers or those in less engaged sectors. Some employers were also regarded as resistant to worker participation, suggesting the network did not increase their engagement in worker protection.

Indicators 1a.8 and 1a.9

These indicators are:

  • 1a.8: Extent to which the network increased the awareness and understanding of employers of TFWP conditions
  • 1a.9: Extent to which the network increased the awareness and understanding of employers of their responsibilities in upholding migrant workers' rights
Activities and outputs

The following activities and outputs of the funding program and network meetings increased awareness and understanding of employers of TFWP conditions.

Funding programFootnote 20

MOSAIC collaborating organizations collectively shared information with employers about their responsibilities in upholding migrant workers' rights, as well as about licensing of recruiters and rights of migrant workers. Information was shared through 8 information sessions, 14 one-on-one conversations and a pamphlet.

Network meetings

Some employer and industry representatives attended network plenary meetings, migrant worker forums, or other meetings/site visits with visiting ESDC officials and were available to receive information about TFWP conditions and migrant worker rights through these channels.Footnote 21

Refer to the following sections for more detail about the nature of information provided:

Progress towards desired outcome

Stakeholders were mostly unable to identify network contributions to this desired outcome, with the following exceptions:

  • during several interviews, stakeholders noted that there had been an increase in information on rights and responsibilities being provided to employers by other stakeholders as a result of network activities (n=4)
  • a few employer/industry representatives also recalled receiving information directly through network activities. For example, 1 liked hearing about TFWP conditions and obligations directly from government representatives at network meetings (mainly network plenaries), illustrating 1 way in which network activities contributed to improving awareness and understanding of employer attendees. Another noted that they were able to connect with government officials through the network to address TFWP inquiries, suggesting increased access to information through the network. These comments tied into favourable reviews of learning opportunities at network meetings generally, as discussed in the Addressing education, support and outreach needs section

"At most meetings, there would be presentations from government specialists, that is always useful. It is more efficient to receive the information that way."

Employer/industry representative

Feedback instead centred on the following considerations:

  • employer/industry representatives emphasized that many employers' understanding of TFWP conditions and responsibilities in upholding migrant workers' rights pre-dated the network given their reliance on the TFWP and vested interest in its continuation. This sentiment was shared during a few interviews (n=3) as well as the focus group discussion with employer/industry representatives. Participants in this discussion also added that the vast majority of employers were committed to respecting and upholding migrant workers' rights and that they consider the challenge to be reaching the "bad actors," something not achieved by the network since non-compliant employers could simply opt out

"Even if I never went to [network] meetings, I would still know where to turn to get assistance… We've always had a mechanism to work together to make sure people follow the rules."

Employer/industry representative
  • migrant workers in all 3 focus group discussions with this group shared the view that there were some employers who were resistant to migrant workers' participation in network activities. Several interviews also discussed this concern (n=4), including those with migrant worker support organization representatives and an employer/industry representative. Migrant workers perceived the resistance to stem from employers not wanting workers to learn about their rights so they could continue taking advantage of them, while other stakeholders noted that some employers perceived migrant worker support organizations as a threat

"I have learned about my rights and how to report any problems, but this is the reason my employer now sees me unfavourably. My supervisor doesn't like the fact that I am always ready to exercise my rights."

Migrant worker (translated)

"Employers catch a wind that an event is happening and would assign migrant workers work on that day."

Migrant worker support organization representative
  • a couple of employer/industry representatives noted during a focus group discussion that there was a need or opportunity to clarify differing conditions and requirements under various streams of the TFWP. For example, while those working in agriculture reported a clear understanding of TFWP conditions and employer responsibilities, they perceived that counterparts in other sectors may not be similarly informed, indicating a possible gap. An employer/industry representative interviewee relatedly perceived that smaller employers may not have a full understanding of conditions or responsibilities due to fewer resources. However, it was difficult to assess these reported discrepancies directly because participants from other sectors did not respond to invitations to participate in the assessment

Achievement of sub-objectives

The following sub-sections explore achievement of the 4 sub-objectives of the network. Each sub-section provides an overview of activities and outputs as well as progress made during the pilot period in relation to a given sub-objective.

Some indicators have been combined for reporting given the joint nature with which stakeholders provided feedback (that is, findings are interrelated). In addition, barriers, facilitators and other considerations not attributable to the network (represented by indicators 1b.9 to 1b.11) are discussed in relation to each desired outcome, as applicable.

Addressing education, support and outreach needs

Summary of findings: Migrant workers' and other stakeholders' education, support and outreach needs were addressed through the funding program by resources and events (particularly information sessions) provided by funded organizations, as well as through ongoing discussions among the collaboration committee and network meetings. ESDC officials also engaged stakeholders during meetings held during quarterly visits to British Columbia and various stakeholders had the opportunity to present during network meetings. Stakeholder feedback indicates that these activities provided useful learning opportunities for stakeholders and helped increase their capacity to provide outreach and support to migrant workers. For example, stakeholders learned about specific services and supports offered by migrant worker support organizations and identified referral options, best practices and new information to include in materials for migrant workers. Providing opportunities to hear directly from migrant workers was also particularly appreciated by some.

Indicators 1b.1 and 1b.2

These indicators are:

  • indicator 1b.1: Extent to which the network addresses migrant workers' education, support and outreach needs
  • indicator 1b.2: Extent to which the network addresses stakeholders' and partners' education, support and outreach needs
Activities and outputs

The following activities and outputs of the funding program and network meetings addressed education, support and outreach needs of migrant workers, stakeholders and partners.

Funding programFootnote 22
  • AMSSA created and released 3 information sheets, 4 webinar recordings, 4 recorded videos and a migrant workers' hub website to increase organizations' knowledge of issues relevant to migrant workers such as employment standards, taxes, access to medical services, labour trafficking and banking
  • AMSSA, MOSAIC and the collaboration committee collectively delivered 58 activities focused on educating, supporting and reaching out to partners and stakeholders through information sessions and webinars (most common), as well as online informational material, a website, social media, newsletters, radio shows, consultations and meetings. Topics covered workplace sexual harassment, vulnerability of migrant workers, policy changes, rights of migrant workers, how to identify exploitation, and more
  • ESDC and other Government of Canada staff had an opportunity to hear the experience and lessons of migrant workers and MOSAIC through 2 consultations
  • The collaboration committee also supported ongoing discussions for funded organizations to share best practices and feedback with each other and discuss next steps for developing resources, organizing events and otherwise leveraging the network. Direct support was also provided to funding recipients through email or phone correspondence, such as with AMSSA's migrant worker support coordinator
Network meetings

The following activities helped stakeholders, including ESDC, learn about needs, issues, resources and supports, with a view to ultimately improve information and service provision to migrant workers:

  • in addition to engaging with stakeholders through 4 network plenary meetings, 4 government network meetings and 2 migrant worker forums to hear about experiences, lessons and considerations of stakeholders, ESDC officials also engaged stakeholders through various other meetings held during their quarterly visits to British Columbia. For example:
    • prior to the official launch of the network, ESDC consulted with British Columbia stakeholders in person to discuss issues, principles, goals, considerations for the network (for example, structure) and next steps.Footnote 23 Additional pre-network consultations were undertaken over teleconference as well
    • in November 2019 (the last in-person quarterly network meeting), ESDC officials met with 4 funded organizations, participated in 2 site visits with migrant worker support organizations and migrant workers, participated in farm visits and meetings with employer/industry representatives and met with government stakeholders (1 foreign, 1 provincial and 2 federal). A similar approach to engagement and consultations was observed for other quarterly meetings as well 
  • various stakeholders had the opportunity to present during network plenary meetings to address other stakeholders' education and information needs. For example, the November 2019 network plenary meeting included presentations on open work permits for vulnerable workers, as well as licensing and compliance activities in British Columbia.Footnote 24 Other education needs of stakeholders were also addressed through information sharing at network meetings, as discussed in the Facilitating networking and information sharing section
Progress towards sub-objective

In 9 out of 19 interviews (47%), interviewees agreed that network activities contributed to improving the ability of stakeholders to support migrant workers in exercising their rights "to some extent" or more. Of the remainder, many interviews did not include a rating (42%) and a few indicated that the network had contributed to this desired outcomes less than "to some extent" (11%). Figure 7 shows the distribution of responses.

Figure 7: To what extent have network activities contributed to improving the ability of stakeholders to support migrant workers in exercising their rights? (n=19 interviews)

Figure 7

Figure 7 – Text description

Figure 7 shows to what extent have network activities contributed to improving the ability of stakeholders to support migrant workers in exercising their rights. Out of 19 interviews.

The findings were:

  • to some extent or more was 9 people or 47%
  • less than "to some extent" equals 2 people or 11%
  • no rating equals 8 people or 42%

Progress resulting from network activities included:

  • migrant worker support organization, employer/industry and government representatives agreed during focus group discussions that network meetings were a good opportunity to address stakeholders' education, support and outreach needs. For example, stakeholders of all types could learn about mechanisms and processes to report abuse as well as hear about issues, barriers and enablers of success directly from migrant workers. Representatives from migrant worker support organizations and government and some migrant workers, each identified the latter as being useful and impactful. In the majority of interviews, stakeholders also highlighted that they found it useful to learn about issues and context during network meetings (n=11), including from migrant workers directly

"It helps us hear workers' voices as well. We learn what is working and what isn't for them."

Migrant worker support organization representative
  • migrant worker support organization representatives across focus group discussions also reported that information received through network meetings helped increase their capacity to provide outreach and support to migrant workers, such as by helping supporters learn about the services and supports offered by other organizations, as well as identify referral options (for example, to settlement agencies, consulates, therapy), best practices or new information to include in materials for migrant workers

"Having an awareness of the actual reporting mechanisms has helped... There's been some general capacity building in this sector."

Migrant worker support organization representative
  • a review of funding program documentation indicated that this component contributed positively to addressing stakeholders' and partners' information needs. For instance, it notes that an evaluation of webinars conducted by AMSSA found that staff of organizations with access to these resources believed they were helpful and felt better equipped to support migrant workers as a result. AMSSA also reported over 3,700 visits to resources aimed at addressing migrant workers' education, support and outreach needs over a 3 to 9 month window (depending on the resource), indicating there was interest in the material developedFootnote 25

Refer to the Achievement of outcomes section for detail about direct ways in which migrant workers' information needs were met. 

Facilitating networking and information sharing

Summary of findings: Stakeholders frequently identified networking as the primary benefit of the network and emphasized the utility of increasing their connections and strengthening relationships with diverse stakeholders through network participation. Increasing connection to government stakeholders was particularly welcomed. Four network plenary meetings, 10 working group meetings, 4 government network meetings, 2 migrant worker forums and meetings with visiting ESDC officials brought diverse stakeholders together to build and strengthen connections. Stakeholders generally viewed meetings as good opportunities to share information about initiatives, policies, processes, supports and services aimed at protecting and supporting migrant workers and/or to identify and dispel myths held by other stakeholders. The funding program also supported stakeholders to connect and share information through community events, meetings, teleconferences, presentations, visits to other project sites and collaboration committee meetings. 

Indicator 1b.3

This indicator is the extent to which the network increased connections among stakeholders during and after activities.

Activities and outputs

The following activities and outputs of the funding program and network meetings increased connections among stakeholders.

Funding programFootnote 26  
  • Through the funding program, AMSSA and MOSAIC collectively provided over 45 opportunities for connections to be established or strengthened among stakeholders and partners, such as through community events, meetings, teleconferences, presentations and visits to other project sites. For instance:
    • AMSSA convened 7 multi-stakeholder meetings, including 3 regional meetings in Prince George, Kelowna and Nanaimo
    • AMSSA visited other stakeholders and participated in events such as Dignidad Migrante's Mother's Day Celebration or the SAWP's 15th Anniversary Celebration organized by MOSAIC, Options Community Services, Western Agriculture Labour Initiative and the Mexican Consulate
    • Eleven activities delivered by MOSAIC collaborating organizations were implemented through partnerships, and
    • MOSAIC collaborating organizations created 10 opportunities for stakeholders to meet other organizations, service providers, or experts during outreach at community events, meetings, or other activities
  • Four collaboration committee meetings and a teleconference also brought staff from AMSSA, MOSAIC, SUCCESS and ESDC together to discuss project progress, successes and challenges
Network meetings

Four network plenary meetings, 10 working group meetings, 4 government network meetings, 2 migrant worker forums and meetings with visiting ESDC officials brought diverse stakeholders together to build and strengthen connections.

Progress towards sub-objective

Stakeholders readily acknowledged how network activities increased connections in the following ways:

  • through focus group discussions, migrant worker support organization, employer/industry and government representatives frequently noted that network activities created new and stronger connections among the broad range of stakeholders who work with and support migrant workers and characterized networking as the primary benefit of the network. All stakeholder types emphasized the utility of increasing connections and strengthening relationships through network participation, particularly with government stakeholders. For example, migrant worker support organization representatives found it especially helpful to form new connections with government representatives and TFWP staff, which ultimately enabled more collaboration between support organizations and government (discussed further in the Increasing trust, collaboration and harmonization section). Government representatives also found it helpful to connect with other branches and levels of government, including new connections with key TFWP contacts within ESDC. Meanwhile, employer/industry representatives agreed that network activities provided opportunities for networking and establishing new connections with migrant worker support organizations across British Columbia in addition to increasing connections with federal government TFWP staff, which they welcomed

"The real success has been the opportunity for networking."

Employer/Industry representative

"I like that we can call someone and have a referral line because of the network."

Migrant worker support organization representative

"I view the network as being significant progress over the earlier situation, which was disjointed and fragmented… It's an excellent forum for making and maintaining networks to fill the disconnect that we had earlier."

Government representative
  • most interviews across stakeholder groups (n=15) similarly highlighted networking as the primary benefit and/or outcome of network participation, reiterating the views described above 

Indicator 1b.4

Indicator 1b.4 is the extent to which the network increased the sharing of information among stakeholders.

Activities and outputs

The following activities and outputs of the funding program and network meetings increased information sharing among stakeholders.

Funding programFootnote 27
  • Refer to related funding program activities and outputs discussed in the Addressing education, support and outreach needs section and earlier in Facilitating networking and information sharing section for detail on how funded recipients shared information to meet each other's education, support and outreach needs and foster connections between organizations – for example, by presenting at meetings/events hosted by other organizations and participating in collaboration committee meetings
  • AMSSA added that it was also able to share information at network meetings such as the migrant worker forum
Network meetings
  • Network plenary meetings were a key venue for exchanging information. For example:
    • ESDC reported back to stakeholders at the first network plenary meeting in October 2018 on findings from the consultations they had undertaken and provided a brief introduction of the funding model during the April 2019 network plenary meetingFootnote 28,Footnote 29
    • migrant workers were given the opportunity to provide statements at network plenary and working group meetingsFootnote 30,Footnote 31,Footnote 32
    • the 3 working groups and the government network provided updates at the April and November 2019 network plenary meetingsFootnote 33,Footnote 34
    • there were presentations from the 3 recipients of contribution funding during the April 2019 network plenary meeting.Footnote 35 Similarly, there were panels, followed by a Q and A, in the November 2019 plenary meeting during which there were 4 presentations from government members and 6 presentations from organizations that received project funding to provide updates and highlights to other attendeesFootnote 36
  • The 4 government network meetings brought foreign, provincial and federal government representatives together to discuss key issues regarding migrant worker protections in British Columbia, such as health and accessibility to services and the distinction between assistance provided by provincial and federal governments versus other organizations, as well as best practices and lessons learnedFootnote 37
  • Two migrant worker forums in June and November 2019 provided an opportunity for ESDC and other stakeholders to simultaneously share information with migrant workers about rights, mechanisms, supports and services as well as gather input from migrant workers on topics such as the barriers they faced or new developments like open work permits for vulnerable workersFootnote 38
  • Other engagement conducted by visiting ESDC officials (discussed in the Addressing education, support and outreach needs section) also provided opportunities for information sharing among stakeholders. For example, a bilateral meeting with British Columbia's Ministry of Labour was an opportunity to share information on the British Columbia government's new registry for employers and recruiters using the TFWP.Footnote 39 Meetings with recipients of contribution funding during these visits also supported information sharing with ESDC – for example, meetings included discussions about activities/milestones and network sustainability as well as provided opportunities for ESDC to address questions from funding recipients
Progress towards sub-objective

Stakeholders highlighted how network activities – particularly network meetings – facilitated and increased information sharing among stakeholders. For example:

  • employer/industry representatives agreed during a focus group discussion that network meetings provided a good opportunity to share information about work already being done by employers and industry associations to support workers to ensure clarity among the different stakeholders
  • migrant worker support organization representatives in multiple focus group discussions reported that they had the opportunity to present at network meetings, including plenary meetings and the migrant worker forum, to share information about the services their organization provides. They also recalled hearing similar information from other organizations at network events and noted that meetings provided good opportunities overall to share information with other stakeholders

"We had a chance to sit down and listen to what other organizations are doing. We had learning from other fields and experience. It is a good step to start working together."

Migrant worker support organization representative
  • government representatives found that they were able to share information about the work they were doing to improve protections for migrant workers. For instance, British Columbia government representatives shared information about new Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act in British Columbia, sending countries shared information about their regulations and requirements for employers, ESDC shared information about inspection processes for the TFWP and IRCC shared information on open work permits for vulnerable workers
  • in approximately half of interviews, stakeholders across groups provided examples of opportunities they had to share information through network activities (n=9). While focus group discussions tended to focus on information sharing opportunities at network meetings, interviewees also identified opportunities related to the funding program, such as including other stakeholders on advisory committees or participating in collaboration committee meetings during which issues, feedback and best practices were discussed among funding recipients
  • across focus groups, a few participants mentioned that network meetings provided a chance to identify and dispel myths held by other stakeholders, such as the misconception that governments and employers did not care or that foreign governments were against unions. This benefit was noted in a few interviews with employer/industry representatives and a government representative (n=3) as well

"It was a myth buster because a lot of NGOs thought that the government or consulates do not care or do not work for the temporary foreign workers. At plenary meetings, everyone had a chance to speak up… We were able to clarify why we were not able to do some things because of laws."

Government representative

Increasing trust, collaboration and harmonization

Summary of findings: Network activities helped to build trust by bringing stakeholders together to connect, strengthen relationships, share information and concerns, dispel divisive myths, find common ground and collaborate (for example, to develop resources). The funding program also enabled migrant worker support organizations to provide outreach, information and services to migrant workers, which helped to build relationships and trust over time. Nonetheless, some stakeholders perceived barriers to trust, notably tension around the voting process and competition associated with the funding program. The temporary nature of the funding program was also identified as a threat to relationships and trust built with migrant workers, which could be negatively impacted if services or support were discontinued. Stakeholders also emphasized that there were opportunities to enhance collaboration among stakeholders, particularly by informing stakeholders of funding program projects. Stakeholders also suggested that opportunities to increase collaboration among network stakeholders could facilitate the harmonization of resources, services and supports provided by migrant worker support organizations. 

Indicator 1b.5

Indicator 1b.5 is the extent to which the network-built trust among stakeholders.

Activities and outputs

The following activities and outputs of the funding program and network meetings were identified as opportunities for stakeholders to build trust.

Funding programFootnote 40

Funding program reports from AMSSA indicate that interactions among stakeholders during meetings may have contributed to building trust – for instance, by providing opportunities for stakeholders to express their needs and concerns while connecting and strengthening relationships. However, there is insufficient evidence to further gauge the strength of this finding.

Network meetings

As discussed in the Addressing education, support and outreach needs and Facilitating networking and information sharing sections, meetings brought stakeholders together to share information, which focus group and interview participants indicated may contribute to building trust. Some of the information shared included updates and reports on activities undertaken by various stakeholders, which may have contributed to increasing understanding of plans, activities, or perspectives of other stakeholders. For example, ESDC shared information on consultation findings and the network funding model during network plenary meetings to support understanding among other stakeholders.Footnote 41

Progress towards sub-objective

In 13 out of 19 interviews (68%), interviewees agreed that network activities contributed to increasing trust among stakeholders "to some extent" or more. The remainder of responses included no rating (21%) and a few that reported the network contributed less than "to some extent" to this desired sub-objective (11%). Figure 8 displays the distribution of responses.

Figure 8: To what extent have network activities contributed to increasing trust among stakeholders? (n=19 interviews)

Figure 8

Figure 8 – Text description

Figure 8 shows to what extent have network activities contributed to increasing trust among stakeholders. Out of 19 interviews.

The findings were:

  • to some extent or more was 13 people or 68%
  • less than "to some extent" equals 2 people or 11%
  • no rating equals 4 people or 21%

Stakeholder feedback indicates that the network contributed to increasing trust in the following ways:

  • focus group discussions highlighted how network activities helped to increase trust between stakeholders by supporting relationship development and information sharing, as discussed in the Facilitating networking and information sharing section. These were recognized as factors that contributed to increasing trust among stakeholders. As a government representative explained, network activities that provided opportunities for information sharing and dialogue helped to increase trust between stakeholders by allowing stakeholders to dispel divisive myths or misunderstandings and find common ground. A similar account was provided in approximately half of interviews across groups (n=9)
  • further, as discussed previously in the Supporting migrant workers in reporting wrongdoing section, the funding program enabled migrant worker support organizations to provide outreach, information and services to migrant workers, which helped to build relationships and trust over time. Participants in a few interviews also believed that casual, welcoming environments provided by migrant worker support organizations also helped to build trust (n=2) and another found that being affiliated with an established network lent them credibility (n=1), which also helped to build trust with migrant workers

Nonetheless, stakeholders highlighted outstanding challenges or barriers to trust that were associated with the network model. These included:

  • multiple employer/industry representatives agreed during focus group discussion that there were challenges with voting during network plenary meetings, which contributed to tension and confusion among stakeholders and was viewed as a manipulable process by some. For example, one recalled that there had been confusion when the outcome changed after a second vote on an issue and another claimed that employers could swing decisions by bringing migrant workers and telling them how to vote. These accounts suggested some mistrust between stakeholders remained
  • in several interviews, stakeholders of different types reported that the funding program created division among stakeholders (n=4), which detracted from relationship and trust building. In particular, they noted how organizations competed amongst each other during early network meetings and believed this negatively affected exploration of collaboration and partnership opportunities as well as open and honest discussion of issues and challenges. There were also concerns about changing the relationship between MOSAIC and peer organizations through the funding redistribution model, which was not favourably received by some in the sector. Finally, during focus group discussions, a couple of migrant worker support organization representatives also described how temporary funding could detract from building trust with migrant workers, who may have come to rely on a service or support that then disappears when funding ends

Indicator 1b.6

Indicator 1b.6 is the extent to which the network increased the frequency or intensity of collaboration.

Activities and outputs

The following activities and outputs of the funding program and network meetings contributed to increased frequency or intensity of collaboration between stakeholders.

Funding programFootnote 42
  • AMSSA and the collaboration committee collectively reported undertaking 10 activities that involved collaboration with stakeholders, with much of it focused on identifying opportunities for future collaboration
  • Examples provided by AMSSA included discussing future collaboration opportunities with members of Dignidad Migrante or jointly delivering presentations – for example, including guest speakers from Cowan Insurance Group, Fraser Health and Umbrella Multicultural Health Co-operative joined a webinar about access to medical services for migrant workers
  • Members of the collaboration committee identified shared commitments to collaborate, such as:
    • funding recipients agreed to share information about their contacts with each other (for example, so AMSSA can provide training and resources to organizations connected to MOSAIC and SUCCESS)
    • AMSSA planned to investigate ways that MOSAIC and SUCCESS could add content to its migrant worker hub website, and
    • ESDC agreed to create and share an event calendar with the 3 direct funding recipients and connect AMSSA with employers and workers to explore their information needs
Network meetings
  • Facilitated discussions during network plenary meetings and working group meetings provided opportunities for stakeholders to collaborate
  • There were also indications that ESDC encouraged collaboration – for instance, suggesting that working group co-chairs work together to revise recommendations ahead of a network plenary meetingFootnote 43
Progress towards sub-objective

During interviews and focus group discussions, stakeholders identified ways in which the network increased the frequency or intensity of collaboration between stakeholders, providing examples such as:

  • a few migrant worker support organization representatives recalled collaboratively brainstorming with employers at a plenary meeting
  • a migrant worker support organization representative was able to coordinate with a foreign government representative through network meetings to better reach migrant workers with informational materials upon their arrival in Canada
  • a migrant worker support organization was approached by MOSAIC to help organize a local event for migrant workers. MOSAIC also suggested opportunities for collaboration to funding applicants
  • WorkSafe BC and AMSSA partnered to provide information to AMSSA's membership about workplace safety and key topics such as prevention, claims and investigations
  • Western Agriculture Labour Initiative translated videos created by AMSSA into Spanish to increase reach
  • an industry association helped connect employers – and through them, migrant workers – to supports provided by local organizations

"I like the collaboration between government and community workers that this network created."

Migrant worker support organization representative

However, stakeholders tended to emphasize that there were opportunities to enhance collaboration, particularly by increasing opportunities for collaboration through the funding program. For instance, a couple of employer/industry representatives noted during a focus group discussion that they found it difficult to collaborate or connect migrant workers with support organizations when they were not aware of which organizations received funding through the network and what services or supports they offered.

Indicator 1b.7

Indicator 1b.7 is the extent to which the network led to stakeholders harmonizingFootnote 44 their services.

Activities and outputs

No activities or outputs that directly supported harmonization of services between stakeholders were identified.

Progress towards sub-objective

Stakeholders were challenged to identify progress related to this sub-objective and viewed this an area for enhancement. Feedback included a few migrant worker support organization representatives across focus group discussions identified opportunities to reduce duplication in services and supports provided to migrant workers that were not addressed by the network. In one discussion, for instance, participants described how network-funded projects did not leverage prior work, resources, or expertise, which introduced duplication when other organizations then received funding to develop their own materials or initiatives. In another, a migrant worker support organization representative noted that their organization did not extend its funding (through MOSAIC) because they sensed redundancy in the services being provided and did not want to replicate efforts of other organizations

"We chose not to extend [our funding] because we didn't feel that lots of different organizations leading lots of small projects made sense."

Migrant worker support organization representative

Developing policy and funding recommendations

Summary of findings: Stakeholders identified ways in which network activities supported them to inform policies, funding recommendations, or programs/operations. For example, 3 working groups developed 11 recommendations that were approved by votes at network plenary meetings and visits and meetings conducted by ESDC officials provided opportunities for government representatives to gather input from other network stakeholders. Nonetheless, many stakeholders perceived that the network lacked follow through on policy development and informing government action overall, which limited its achievements in these areas. Some also found certain recommendations approved at plenary meetings irrelevant or unrealistic.

Indicator 1b.8

Indicator 1b.8 is the extent to which the network facilitated the development of policy and funding recommendations to improve worker protections

Activities and outputs

The following activities and outputs of network meetings contributed to development of policy and funding recommendations to improve migrant worker protections. There was no evidence to suggest that the funding program facilitated the development of policy or funding recommendations.

Network meetings
  • As discussed earlier, ESDC's engagement with stakeholders during visits to British Columbia for quarterly network meetings provided opportunities to gather input from stakeholders to inform potential program and policy directions. For example, ESDC staff met with Service Canada to discuss the potential of providing social insurance numbers to migrant workers upon arrival in CanadaFootnote 45
  • ESDC also gathered input through network meetings. For instance:
    • a discussion on next steps for network recommendations on migrant worker orientation and mandatory employer training was held at the November 2019 network plenary meeting, followed by guided break-out group activities to identify additional considerationsFootnote 46
    • ESDC utilized the migrant worker forum as a source of migrant worker input to inform the department's response to network recommendations. For example, migrant worker participants at the November 2019 migrant worker forum were asked to provide input on what migrant worker orientation and employer training should encompass – for instance, what information migrant workers would like to receive and topics they would like covered in employer trainingFootnote 47
    • discussion sessions to respond to recommendations approved at prior network plenary meetings and gather stakeholder input were also scheduled for March 2020, although the meeting was ultimately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemicFootnote 48
  • A workshop on how to develop a working group recommendation was held during the April 2019 network plenary meeting to support stakeholders in translating ideas into concrete, actionable stepsFootnote 49
  • In total, the 3 working groups developed 15 recommendations targeting desired network outcomes, 11 of which were approved by votes at the April and November 2019 network plenary meetings.Footnote 50,Footnote 51 Approved recommendations are highlighted in the following section
Working group recommendations

The working group on preventing and responding to emergencies developed 7 recommendations, 6 of which were approved:Footnote 52

  • we recommend that employers be required to ensure their workers receive training within a certain period after arrival (1 month, for example). This training could take place before the worker arrives; however, post arrival is preferred as it will be easier to manage as well as more meaningful for workers when they have some context upon which to base their understanding
  • we recommend that a multilingual hotline be established to provide a one-stop-shop for workers to ask questions, report issues and access information. This service should be available after regular working hours and on weekends and should be required to be posted on all job sites with migrant workers
  • we recommend that a fund be established to support workers in emergency circumstances on a case-by-case basis
  • we recommend that IRCC extend the emergency open work permit to be at a minimum 1 year in length and allow for up to 2 years on a case-by-case basis
  • we recommend that Service Canada require the employer to provide a signed contract in the native language of a TFW (using plain, not legal, language) with a copy provided to the TFW at the time of signing. This should be checked by CBSA upon arrival
  • we recommend that the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada require all employers to undergo training before they employ TFWs and again after any significant changes to the programs/employment standards changes. The employer education program should test knowledge based on the ability to find and understand information, not on memory (open book)

The working group on education, outreach and accessibility developed 4 recommendations, 3 of which were approved:Footnote 53

  • migrant workers who take part in the TFWP need to be offered mandatory training (that they are compensated for) within 1 month of their arrival in Canada. This mandatory training will provide migrant workers information on their rights, how to protect their rights and information on steps to take when their rights are not being met
  • to require employers, as part of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process, to take and pass mandatory training as part of the requirement to employing migrant workers
  • the Migrant Worker Support Network pilot and the funding to provide education to migrant workers and those supporting migrant workers needs to continue beyond March 31, 2020

The working group on addressing retribution against migrant workers developed 4 recommendations, 2 of which were approved:Footnote 54

  • allow migrant workers to participate in free English-as-a-Second-Language or French-as-a-Second-Language training
  • develop guidelines and training for the CBSA to follow to protect victims of human trafficking
Progress towards desired sub-objective

Examples of ways in which the network supported policy development and funding decisions included:

  • during a focus group discussion, a few employer/industry representatives provided examples of government representatives visiting migrant workers at their place of employment to hear directly about issues they faced to help inform government decisions
  • in several interviews, stakeholders also identified information received from other stakeholders as inputs to government programs, operations, or policy development (n=4). For example, foreign government representatives noted that they were given the opportunity to review British Columbia's draft legislation for the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act to discuss considerations, which was a novel development attributed to relationships nurtured through the network. In addition, an industry association had the opportunity to test forms and provide feedback to the British Columbia government during development of its new employer registration process. Government representatives also provided examples of how they were able to better inform operations using information gleaned at network meetings – for instance, by increasing emphasis on the importance soft skills when interacting with workers in crisis during inspections or better promoting provincial funding opportunities that could support services for migrant workers (for example, funding for projects related to trafficking, which previously focused predominantly on sex trafficking)

"We have been trying to engage with policy people, to help them understand how to improve things. We were able to visit farms with them to engage with them."

Employer/Industry representative

However, many stakeholders flagged limitations and challenges:

  • in many interviews, stakeholders mentioned that there had been limited focus on policy development through the network (n=8), exemplified by what they perceived as limited or no government response to recommendations approved at network plenary meetings and limited focus on impacting broader policy

"The fact that the recommendations that derived from the network discussions do not necessarily have an impact in policy design and implementation. This is a gap."

Government representative

"There have been a number of recommendations that came out of the working group that were voted on and then the government does nothing. It's quite disheartening and quite frustrating."

Migrant worker support organization representative
  • during a focus group discussion, some government representatives noted that recommendations had been approved at plenary meetings that they found irrelevant or unrealistic. For instance, some recommendations were focused on particular aspects of migrant worker protection or TFWP oversight that fell outside the scope or expertise of certain government participants or were seen as unrealistic

Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis

In response to assessment question 2, the following section explores key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from external factors associated with the network's implementation. Findings are intended to inform a future cross-Canada approach to migrant worker protection that includes a funding and stakeholder engagement component. Strengths and weaknesses are presented for the network overall as well as in relation to each of the funding program and network meeting components specifically.

Strengths

Network overall

The network targeted a relevant need
  • Migrant workers in multiple focus group discussions agreed there was a need to better support and protect migrant workers and expressed appreciation for the support provided through the network. They encouraged network activities to continue and several expressed interest in participating in future meetings or events
  • Stakeholders across focus groups and interviews agreed that the network was a relevant and useful development that addressed a relevant need to better support migrant workers. With few exceptions, stakeholders would like to see the network continued

"The network was a very positive development. I think it has been worth the time and effort for those who participated. It is something [our government] would be happy to continue participating in."

Government representative
ESDC officials were generally responsive to issues and feedback identified by stakeholders
  • For example, the network responded directly to issues identified during consultations, which included migrant worker support organizations' limited funding and resources to support migrant workers, the need for in-person and virtual participation options for meetings, diverse network membership and greater access to information and services for migrant workers.Footnote 55 Further, working groups were established to respond to 3 key issue areas based on the input received. These included: 1) isolation and access to services 2) the need for more education and information sharing and 3) the need to address mistreatment, retribution and emergenciesFootnote 56
  • During a few interviews, government representatives reported that the government network meetings were established in response to feedback that there was a need for a separate, less public venue for discussions among government representatives (n=2)
  • Funding recipients generally found funders (ESDC and MOSAIC as an intermediary) responsive to needs and feedback (discussed further below)
The network supported dissemination of accurate and standardized information

During a few interviews, stakeholders noted that providing standardized information through network activities increased accuracy and consistency of information received by migrant workers and other stakeholders (n=3).

Funding program

The funding program addressed an existing gap by funding migrant worker support organizations to support migrant workers

Migrant worker support organization representatives viewed funding opportunities through the network favourably and agreed during focus group discussions that the network gave them unique access to funding to provide relevant support and address previously unmet information and support needs of migrant workers. Government representatives shared positive views of the funding program. While representatives from a couple of organizations noted that they also received British Columbia Settlement funding, they found this funding quite restricted in comparison to funding provided through the network and less focused on migrant workers. As a result of the funding received, support organizations were able to offer new services or increase the amount of support they provided to migrant workers.

"In terms of increasing the workers' knowledge, we have been trying over a decade, but because of this funding we were able to start building that relationship. With that relationship, workers have started trusting us and opening up about their problems. This network has provided a space for the workers to open up."

Migrant worker support organization representative
Migrant worker support organizations were viewed as appropriate, welcomed sources of information and support that increased migrant workers' ability to understand and exercise their rights
  • All migrant workers agreed during focus group discussions that organizations supported by the funding program provided relevant and useful services and supports to help them understand and exercise their rights. As detailed above, migrant workers viewed these organizations as key partners in helping them learn about their rights and available supports. In addition to building trust and increasing migrant workers' willingness to report wrongdoing, some migrant workers even believed that support organizations helped deter abuse because employers did more to uphold and respect workers' rights when they knew workers were supported. Overall, migrant workers viewed these organizations favourably and readily acknowledged that they would encourage other workers to go to these organizations for guidance and support. Migrant worker support organization and government representatives also underscored the strength of providing support to migrant workers in this manner  

"If we have any situation bothering us, we can talk to organizations about it."

Migrant worker

"Having all these organization with funding and ready to help was the best attribute for the network. Using that funding had very good results."

Government representative
  • In several interviews, stakeholders identified the network's partnership model with migrant worker support organizations as a strength that helped to reach workers, build trust and bring forth information about challenges and issues by leveraging existing capacity and connections (n=4)
  • Funding program documents similarly noted the strength of having organizations provide one-on-one support to workers in a manner characterized by trust and confidentiality
Funders (ESDC and MOSAIC as an intermediary) were responsive to existing and emerging needs of migrant workers as well as suggestions for improvement from stakeholders  
  • Migrant worker support organization representatives generally praised the responsiveness of ESDC and MOSAIC to migrant workers' needs and emphasized that the funding program had improved over time. For instance, a couple migrant worker support organization representatives described MOSAIC as a good buffer between organizations and ESDC, noting that they found MOSAIC flexible and open to feedback. An example of improvement was assessing redundancies and gaps in supports provided through the first round of funding to support a more cohesive approach with subsequent funding

"I feel like ESDC and MOSAIC really listened about what these workers needed."

Migrant worker support organization representative
  • Several interviews similarly included praise for the responsiveness of MOSAIC and ESDC (n=4), noting that this helped mitigate challenges with funding redistributed by MOSAIC (consult the Weaknesses section for more information about challenges)
  • Funding program documents similarly noted that adapting activities to the needs of migrant workers and changing situations were strengths of the funding program
The broad and flexible nature of the funding program allowed funded organizations to build relationships with migrant workers and tailor services and supports to the populations they served 
  • Through focus group discussions, migrant workers described how activities and events organized by funded migrant worker support organizations helped them to establish connections and networks with their peers as well as organizations. Similarly, migrant worker support organization representatives in 1 focus group discussion mentioned that when relationship building activities allow funded organizations to earn the trust of migrant workers, this lays the foundation for subsequent uptake of information and support. While not obviously aligned with the desired outcomes of the network, this highlights the importance of some activities implemented by funded organizations including providing information on taxes, skills training and hosting social events for migrant workers. Migrant worker support organization representatives also remarked upon MOSAIC's understanding of different organizations' capacity and expertise with their own client bases, which was appreciated

"They trusted that we know best what is good for our clients in our region, in our city, in our sector. So there was this trust relationship and again, flexibility. And they knew what we would be delivering and with our own creativity, knowing what works for us."

Migrant worker support organization representative
  • A review of funding program documents similarly highlighted benefits of funding a variety of activities, each of which served a distinct purpose. For instance, outreach and informal gatherings such as community kitchens, English groups, cultural celebrations and farm visits-built trust and allowed migrant workers to open up to frontline staff, while group sessions and digital platforms (for example, WhatsApp, online learning modules) provided opportunities for migrant workers to connect with peers and available supports. More formalized meetings and events, such as health fairs and meetings with government officials and community services providers, provided migrant workers with information as well as the opportunity to share their concerns and feel empowered. This range of activities reflected the varying needs and contexts to which funded organizations were able to tailor support
Regular communication and coordination between ESDC and funding recipients supported project implementation
  • Reports submitted by funding recipients identified that maintaining regular communication between ESDC and funded organizations during planning (for example, ensuring proposal evaluation criteria were clear) and project implementation supported successful project implementation
  • A few interviews with government and migrant worker support organization representatives reiterated this finding (n=3), with stakeholders noting that there had been good coordination and communication between ESDC and funding recipients (for example, check-in meetings) to ensure clarity of roles/responsibilities and support project implementation
Other

Organizations that received contribution funding from ESDC reported several other strengths specific to implementation of funded projects (although feedback from other stakeholders suggests there may have been room for some improvement in some areas, as discussed in the Weaknesses section). Reported strengths included:

  • conducting activities to identify the needs of migrant workers or organizations before developing activities to support them, as well as utilizing a participatory approach that involved migrant workers and employers in the design
  • addressing barriers to service access and participation for migrant workers by providing support in their preferred language, providing transportation where needed and scheduling events at times convenient for migrant workers
  • collaborating with other stakeholders to improve the quality of information and supports provided to migrant workers and to organize events, and
  • including voices from employers experienced with the TFWP in workshops aimed at other employers

Network meetings

Network meetings were good opportunities to establish connections, develop relationships and share information with other stakeholders 

The primary strength of the network that was emphasized by migrant worker support organization, employer/industry and government representatives was the opportunity to network at meetings. Stakeholders across the board appreciated the relationship building and information sharing opportunities provided by all meeting types and found it particularly helpful to have increased connections and access to other stakeholders, especially government representatives. Meetings also contributed to increased awareness of services and supports for migrant workers.

Network meetings were well organized and coordinated overall

Stakeholders in many interviews praised the organization of network meetings (n=6), noting positive elements such as the setting (for example, brightly lit and spacious) and coordination (for example, provided meeting agendas in advance and good balance in meeting structure).

In-person meetings facilitated relationship building

Multiple stakeholders across focus group discussions reported that they found the in-person meeting format particularly conducive to building and strengthening relationships, including with partners they had been interacting with prior to the network – for instance, they could forge more personal connections through less formal interactions (for example, during coffee or meal breaks) and finally "put a face to the name." This finding was reiterated in several interviews (n=5).

Weaknesses

Overall

Stakeholders agreed that network activities were not focused enough on preventing and detecting abuse
  • As detailed in the Detecting and deterring abuse section, all stakeholder groups emphasized that network activities were too downstream and reactive to deter abuse of migrant workers by the handful of "bad actors" committing abuses. Migrant worker support organization representatives stressed that while then has contributed to improving support for migrant workers after abuse has occurred, it hadn't spurred change to prevent or deter abuse from occurring in the first place. To do so, stakeholders saw a need to complement network activities with more government action, particularly action aimed at improving inspection and enforcement. Stakeholders in several interviews also emphasized the downstream focus of the network as a primary constraint that limited the network's ability to improve to detection and deterrence of abuse (n=4)

"Our projects are just the end of the cliff where workers are falling… We are a safety net; it should not be the primary support workers go to."

Migrant worker support organization representative

"You're not addressing the systemic causes."

Union representative
  • This finding was further supported by the lack of funding program activities or outputs that increased detection or deterrence of abuse of migrant workers; none were identifiedFootnote 57
There were some challenges identified by stakeholders around clarity of objectives or scope and transparency
  • Stakeholders in many interviews, particularly employer/industry representatives, independently flagged concerns about clarity of objectives or implementation of the network (n=7). Feedback included being unsure about how funding decisions were made, being surprised at the lack of a call for proposals given prior understanding and being unsure about the overall scope, goals, or purpose of the network  

"How are we trying to help? Change legislation or change a direct service? Or to improve lives of workers while they're here? Maybe we gather to find ways to improve the lives of workers with what we have. Or it could be that we're gathering to try to change policies or things governments have in place. People have different views on that."

Migrant worker support organization representative

"I and a lot of people were very confused about what it was all about and what it was supposed to be accomplishing... It slowly became evident. The team that came out from Ottawa, certainly they had a vision."

Employer/Industry representative
  • Employer/industry representatives in a focus group discussion also agreed that there had been some challenges and frustration around scope creep. Several of these participants attributed out-of-scope conversations to a lack of clear direction (that is, objectives or expectations were not clear). There were also indications of some uncertainty around scope or objectives during discussions and interviews with other stakeholder types

"I am wondering what the overall vision or objective is. I imagine it had to do with information sharing, networking and collaboration… Is the objective to use that as a forum for the federal government to adjust and change its design and implementation of its programs?"

Government representative
  • The funding program document review also suggested wide and varied understanding of network scope among funding recipients. For example, the connection of certain funded activities to the network's desired outcomes and stated sub-objectives and alignment with funding criteria were not clear in some instances. Examples included activities that involved:Footnote 58
    • providing information, education and resources about health and access to medical services
    • providing information and resources on banking, savings and taxes
    • providing employment services, such as hosting a hiring event to complete hiring applications for displaced workers
    • hosting classes to develop English language or computer skills, and
    • hosting social events such as a Father's Day celebration or end of season party
  • Notably, the challenges and concerns listed above arose despite actions taken by ESDC to ensure clear scope and expectations. For example:
    • the first network plenary meeting included a discussion on establishing the parameters of network plenary meetingsFootnote 59
    • ESDC established terms of reference for the network that detailed its mandate, primary goals and desired outcomes, scope, structure, activities, deliverables, governance and guiding principles as well as an overview of the roles and responsibilities of all membersFootnote 60,Footnote 61
    • ESDC developed an online virtual collaboration site (a GCcollab group) where network members could access publicly available information about the network, including information on network goalsFootnote 62
There were some concerns that the network was established without full understanding of the British Columbia context
  • Multiple stakeholder groups perceived that ESDC lacked some understanding of stakeholders or services and supports in British Columbia when implementing the network. This was discussed by different stakeholders across several interviews who wished there had been more extensive identification, consultation and engagement of stakeholders, mapping of needs and services and overall planning and strategizing prior to network implementation (n=5)
  • Relatedly, a couple of employer/industry representatives noted during a focus group discussion that the network did not do enough to build upon or promote work and resources to support migrant workers that pre-dated the network. This feedback aligned with reports from migrant worker support organization representatives who found that network-funded projects missed opportunities to leverage prior work, resources, or expertise, which would have reduced duplication. Some government representatives also remarked that ESDC lacked awareness of the British Columbia landscape and stakeholder dynamics at the outset of the network, which caused some challenges and tensions during initial network activities

"Is anyone mapping out how resources are being channelled to support [migrant workers]? Was there a plan?... Was someone saying we noticed that in area X there's a really high need and through the network, did they say "okay, we're going to dispatch XYZ to them?" I don't know."

Union representative

"It's always better to engage earlier than closer to when something launches."

Government representative
  • Notably, these concerns were raised despite steps taken by ESDC to identify existing services, supports, needs and gaps. For example, ESDC conducted 2 in-person consultations with British Columbia stakeholders in March and June 2018, 2 teleconference consultations with each stakeholder group and 2 in-person meetings with a total of over 100 migrant workers in September and October 2018Footnote 63,Footnote 64
Stakeholder feedback reflected limited awareness of outcomes that resulted from network activities
  • Feedback from stakeholders during interviews and focus group discussions repeatedly identified limited stakeholder awareness of network outcomes. For instance, as discussed in the Developing policy and funding recommendations section, many stakeholders were not aware of policy responses to recommendations approved at network plenary meetings, with some frustration expressed around the lack of action or response
  • In some instances, participants in over half of interviews felt unable to assess the extent of the network's contribution to the desired outcomes (evidenced in figures 2 and 8 and the accompanying narrative)

Funding program

Short-term funding created uncertainty for funded organizations, contributed to loss of trained staff and risked compromising trust built with migrant workers

Migrant worker support organization representatives across focus group discussions and a few interviews (n=3) discussed concerns with the temporary and unpredictable nature of funding received through the funding program. Concerns included the loss of trained staff during gaps in funding and the loss of workers' trust if funding – and therefore services – were to stop. Regarding the latter, they believed this could in turn negatively impact workers' trust in protection mechanisms and supports more broadly too.

The short network pilot timeframe, coupled with delayed funding decisions, made it challenging for funded organizations to collaborate, harmonize services and deliver on commitments
  • A shared challenge with the funding program encountered by migrant worker support organizations was the delay in funding decisions, which reduced the time organizations had to deliver on proposed commitments and made it challenging to collaborate or harmonize services with other organizations that also received funding. The latter contributed to some replication in services and supports, as discussed in the Increasing trust, collaboration and harmonization section
  • In a few interviews, government representatives added that they faced pressure around the short network pilot timeframe (n=2) , such as having to spend money by the end of the fiscal year, which could have further limited opportunities to plan for collaboration or harmonization in services
The settlement sector is complex and there were some tensions created by the funding model or decisions
  • In several interviews, all of which were with migrant worker support organization or union representatives, participants raised concerns or questions around the funding approach used (n=4). These stakeholders' main complaint was that the funding was not awarded to the organizations with the most pre-existing capacity or expertise to support migrant workers or connections in areas where migrant workers lived and worked. Several interviews with this group also included discussion of challenges associated with MOSAIC's position as an intermediary that distributed funds to other organizations (n=4), which was seen as something that created division and antagonism within the sector rather than spurring collaboration. A few concerns about conflicts of interest were also raised given that MOSAIC was a funded service provider too

"It created division and an environment of competition amongst organizations. We have real questions about why MOSAIC made the decisions that it did."

Migrant worker support organization representative
  • However, while migrant worker support organization representatives in 1 focus group discussion also agreed that the settlement sector is complex and that there were challenges associated with funding 1 organization to redistribute funds to other organizations, they primarily viewed the funding program and MOSAIC's role within it positively. For instance, they spoke highly of MOSAIC's foresight to establish a relationship with ESDC to redistribute funding through a less onerous process and thought MOSAIC had done a good job navigating the process, even if it had taken time for other organizations to understand MOSAIC's role
Some organizations that received funding from MOSAIC found certain reporting and review requirements burdensome or unnecessary

Between focus group discussions and interviews, several migrant worker support organization representatives flagged challenges or concerns with the process of getting materials approved by MOSAIC or ESDC, which was perceived as inconsistent or arbitrary by some. For example, 1 migrant worker support organization representative recalled how they had submitted the same material 2 years in a row and received approval 1 year but not the next. Others were concerned about censorship when they were instructed to remove certain information or reported that "corrections" they received had in fact introduced inaccuracies to their material. A review of funding program documents reveals that organizations that received contribution funding directly from ESDC also experienced challenges with the review process. For instance, both AMSSA and MOSAIC reported that a weakness of the network's design and implementation was the time required to review materials and resources developed through funded projects.

A review of funding program documents revealed some reporting issues around data quality and consistency, which affected the ability to assess network outputs, reach and results in some instances

For example, the type of information and detail provided differed by organization, some outputs were not quantified (for example, number of materials developed or distributed) and some information provided was out of scope, which could be inaccurate or misleading (for example, including outputs from earlier reporting periods).

Other

Organizations that received contribution funding from ESDC reported a few other challenges that they perceived as weaknesses of project implementation. These included:

  • the difficulty of identifying organizations or individuals who support migrant workers and finding solutions for every case raised by migrant workers given the available tools
  • delayed awareness of the funding opportunity among some eligible organizations, and
  • some collaborating organizations' difficulty anticipating all project expenses

Network meetings

Multiple concerns were raised around the voting process at network plenary meetings, including concerns that voting was counteractive to developing relationships and trust between stakeholders
  • Multiple stakeholders across groups identified challenges or concerns with the voting process at network meetings. Government representatives found that while ESDC had done a good job managing expectations around voting overall, it nonetheless remained "awkward" for government representatives. Foreign government representatives also had concerns about their country's sovereign rights being infringed if the network were to vote on recommendations related to their handling of internal matters, although they noted that this was avoided by exclusion of foreign matters from voting. Multiple stakeholders across focus group discussions also shared concerns about the appropriateness, fairness, or integrity of the voting process. This included a couple of migrant worker support organization representatives who equated voting with politically motivated decision-making due to how votes were tabulated. A similar concern was echoed by a couple of employer/industry and government representatives who viewed the voting process as "manipulable" based on who participated. Concerns such as these suggest that voting was somewhat counteractive to advancing sub-objectives focused on strengthening trust between stakeholders 

"The votes were not about democracy and fairness. It was like-minded people trying to take good recommendations forward. It could have been done with consensus."

Employer/industry representative

"It was a mistake of the network to try to make recommendations for the program at the federal level... Those recommendations have to be made by formalized committees, by IRCC, by the Parliament committees that have direct communication and consultation with the migrant workers. It doesn't make sense for an employer to decide whether migrant workers should have permanent residence or not."

Union representative
  • Concerns about the voting process – particularly the inclusion of abstentions in the denominator – were also raised at the November 2019 plenary meetingFootnote 65
Employers participating in network plenary meetings sometimes felt that employers were portrayed negatively as a homogenous group

Employer/industry representatives reported some tension at meetings when certain stakeholders treated all employers as antagonists despite the majority of those in attendance being committed to worker protection. Meeting focus on employer issues and abuses was seen as a contributing factor because it made it seem (falsely) as though most employers mistreated migrant worker employees. Participants in a few interviews similarly noted this negative focus on employers (n=2).

Barriers to migrant workers' participation in network meetings, such as timing of meetings, attendance costs and presence of employers and government representatives, were not fully addressed by the network
  • During many interviews, stakeholders remarked upon limited migrant worker attendance and participation in network meetings (n=7)
  • As detailed in the Providing information on rights to migrant workers section, stakeholders expressed several concerns about the accessibility of network meetings to migrant workers as a result to barriers to participation, including the timing of some meetings (for example, network plenary meetings were held during the workweek and some migrant workers work on weekends when other meetings were held), attendance costs (for example, due to travel or lost wages) and limited ability to speak freely in a formalized setting with employers and/or government representatives present
  • Some of these issues were identified during pre-network consultations yet were not fully addressed by the network. For instance, it was acknowledged from the network's outset that there was a need to allow anonymity to enable participation and mitigate fear of negative consequences (for example, from employers)Footnote 66
There was limited employer participation in the network meetings overall as well as limited reach of "problem" employers

Employer/industry and government representatives agreed that network activities and information were not reaching many employers or sectors (with the exception of agriculture). In particular, they noted that the network mostly included industry associations that disseminated information to their members, that some streams of the TFWP didn't have much (or any) employer involvement and that it was difficult to reach employers in sectors other than agriculture as they tended to be less organized and have less of a history with the TFWP. Stakeholders also agreed that the network wasn't reaching "problem" employers and that these individuals were unlikely to voluntarily participate in the network.

Meeting scheduling, length and location made participation difficult for some network members
  • A few stakeholders found the time commitment to attend network meetings difficult to balance with other responsibilities given the travel required and number of meetings held within a given week. For example, a migrant worker support organization representative noted that participation in the network resulted in delayed case work. A couple of government representatives also identified challenges around limited advance notice for plenary meetings and the time required to participate  

"I do not know how community groups are able to go around this time and participation issue. It's not our day work, so I do not know if we can find a way to attend. If I attend, I must work extra hours to pay back that time, so it's an issue."

Migrant worker support organization representative
  • Stakeholders across several interviews also reported travel barriers to participation (n=4)
There were some technological challenges for those participating in meetings virtually.

In a few interviews, stakeholders who had remotely participated in network meetings reported that they had encountered technological difficulties. A poor teleconference connection was also noted in meeting minutes for the April 2019 government network meeting.Footnote 67

A few organizations noted challenges around participant limits for network plenary meetings.

Stakeholders in a few interviews wished that more members of their staff could have participated in network plenary meetings (n=2) – for instance, to support continuity in the event of staff turnover.

Opportunities

While stakeholders and a review of funding program documents did not identify specific opportunities that had been taken advantage of that were important to the network's success, the following factors would appear to meet those criteria:

Migrant worker support organizations had existing capacity and connections that made them well suited to adapting or increasing their services or supports to serve migrant workers

This opportunity was identified during pre-network consultation and emerged as a strength of the network model, as discussed throughout the report.Footnote 68

In some instances, migrant worker support organizations provided interpretation/translation or offered services in migrant workers' preferred languages, which contributed to accessibility and comprehension

As discussed throughout the report.

There were various examples of modifications to network structure or processes based on stakeholder feedback, suggesting ESDC staff were open and responsive to suggestions and feedback

Examples of modifications made based on stakeholder suggestions and feedback included adding a session for migrant workers only at the second migrant worker forum, creating separate Government network meetings better suited for some conversations and adding less formal migrant worker consultations (for example, during farm visits) to later ESDC visits to British Columbia based on feedback or concerns received in each area.

Threats

The following external threats (that is, factors outside of network control) to past and continued network success were identified:

Success and impact is contingent on the participation of external stakeholders
  • As described in the Weaknesses section, stakeholders noted challenges around meeting participation given the time and resources required. This illustrated how stakeholder resources and availability could affect ability to participate in network activities
  • In several interviews, stakeholders noted the reliance on external stakeholder participation (n=4). For example, the work of government agencies like the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) relates to migrant worker issues, though they may not be involved in network activities. The funding program document review also identified a potential threat to success due to limited participation of some government agencies
There are limitations of existing mechanisms and services available to migrant workers who experience wrongdoing

Funding program reports identified various limitations associated with the nature and accessibility of existing supports for migrant workers who experience abuse. These include the lack of migrant worker support organizations in some regions (for example, Northern British Columbia), lack of mechanisms to support migrant workers who do not want to report the wrongdoing for fear of losing their job, confidentiality constraints that can limit supporters' responses to cases of abuse, the amount of evidence of abuse required (which migrant workers may not have) and lengthy review process for open work permit applications for vulnerable workers, which could discourage migrant workers from applying.

Other programs, services, or policies (including those of sending countries) can affect migrant workers' ability to access and understand information and support
  • A review of funding program documentation identified that changes in legislation may require materials to be updated to remain accurate, that the complexity of information and the language of other government agencies may be challenging for migrant workers to understand, that the operating hours of other government agencies or departments may limit access to support (for example, the British Columbia Employment Standards Branch does not work on evenings and weekends) and that languages of service delivery may limit accessibility to migrant workers. In a few interviews, stakeholders also flagged threats related to how other programs, policies, or services could affect network activities or impact (n=2)
  • During many interviews (n=6) and focus group discussions with migrant workers, it was noted that workers from different countries have access to different levels of support, which can make it more difficult for some to get help (for example, those whose countries of origin do not have a consulate in British Columbia). This sentiment was shared by interview participants who pointed to enhanced connections between some consulates and other network stakeholders, which supported delivery of information and services to their citizens. A couple of stakeholders each noted that some foreign government representatives are more ethical or responsive to migrant workers than others
As the network is a government initiative, stakeholder views can be influenced by perceived political influence or their views on broader programs and policies
  • Many stakeholders across interviews and focus group discussions highlighted how stakeholder views of the network could be negatively influenced by perceived political interference, motivations, or considerations. For example, concerns were raised around the network's future given susceptibility to a change in government, the funding model's similarity to 1 that had received negative press and views about TFWP challenges more broadly

"There was a perceived bias that this was implemented or extended to provide cover during the election and leading up to the election, that there were certain directives given to staff that I would see as a political narrative more than just trying to really protect workers."

Employer/industry representative
  • In discussing the network, multiple migrant workers and migrant worker support organization representatives also repeatedly raised the issue of permanent residency for migrant workers given the permanence of the TFWP coupled with the continued precariousness of workers. This highlighted how the network was viewed within the broader context of immigration and labour right
Some stakeholders perceive certain advocacy groups as a threat

During several interviews with government and employer/industry representatives, participants discussed a perceived threat from certain advocacy groups (n=5). For example, some were concerned by the lengths they thought some of these groups were willing to go in pursuit of their objective (for example, seeking permanent residence for migrant workers upon arrival), such as encouraging migrant workers to lie about abuse to get access to an open work permit for vulnerable workers. Others were concerned about the spread of misinformation by these groups or the way they steered focus away from otherwise productive dialogue.

While the network targets the legal employment landscape for migrant workers, recruitment scams and the "shadow economy" continue to operate and put migrant workers at risk

A few interviews with employer/industry representatives (n=2) and 1 migrant worker focus group participant flagged concerns around recruitment scams that target migrant workers. For example, a migrant worker discussed issues with employers who promise a legal work permit that does not transpire or organizations that recruit foreign nationals to Canada, charge fees and then inform applicants that their visa has not been approved. Employer/industry representatives, meanwhile, discussed challenges around the informal "shadow economy,"  which has implications for the protection and safety of migrant workers, yet falls beyond the scope of the network.

Looking forward

This section summarizes key considerations for the future of the network in response to assessment question 2. It is intended to be interpreted alongside the SWOT analysis presented in the Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats section.

Expansion and extension

Stakeholders shared the following views on the possibility of the network's extension and expansion:

  • stakeholders including migrant workers received the network favourably overall and would generally like to see the network continue. There is interest in continuing both the funding program, which fills a funding gap that allows organizations to support migrant workers and the network meetings, which are useful for bringing stakeholders together to make connections, strengthen relationships, share consistent information and exchange ideas about how to better protect and support migrant workers
  • migrant worker support organization and government representatives generally agreed that there is interest in seeing the network expanded to other regions in Canada. Employer/industry representatives would also like to see it continued if concerns are addressed, for instance, if there are clearer goals and objectives and greater transparency
  • however, participants in a few interviews did not want to see the network continue in its current formulation (n=3), citing weaknesses discussed in the Weaknesses section and/or a preference for more grassroots, relational approaches such as those that pre-dated the network

Other considerations raised with respect to the prospect of network expansion included:

  • participants in a few interviews (n=3) and focus groups suggested incorporating a national component if the network is expanded to other jurisdictions. For instance, this could include working with organizations that have existing national (or possibly international) presence and capacity to provide standardization and continuity or holding some meetings (virtually) with national scope. The latter was appealing to some stakeholders whose roles have national scope already, such as industry and union representatives
  • a few government stakeholders noted during interviews that the demand on ESDC would be too great if the department maintained the same level of involvement if the model were to be replicated in all jurisdictions (n=2). However, another stakeholder raised a concern about the model's chance of success without the same level of federal government engagement as there has been during the pilot period. There is therefore a question about how the network model used in the British Columbia pilot would fare if the department were to be less involved in a modified, expanded model 
  • a few interview and focus group participants stressed the need to conduct thorough engagement, needs assessments and planning before implementing a model in other jurisdictions to ensure there is a comprehensive understanding of stakeholders, issues, services and needs

Opportunities to address weaknesses or threats

The following sub-sections present opportunities identified by stakeholders to address previously identified weaknesses and threats:

Funding

Migrant worker support organization representatives and migrant workers stressed the importance of longer-term, predictable funding for organizations that support migrant workers. As previously discussed, not only would longer term funding support service continuity to maintain relationships and trust with migrant workers, but it would also support more effective and efficient service delivery by reducing turnover and loss of trained staff during gaps in funding.

"The funding helped us go out and connect and do outreach. Now we have created trust in the workers by building this, so we should not end it. Government should have enough core funding so that we can continue this work."

Migrant worker support organization representative

Information

  • Stakeholder suggestions to better detect and deter wrongdoing included improving information sharing between various levels of government to better support monitoring, introducing training for employers to increase understanding of TFWP conditions and worker rights, strengthening consequences to better deter abuse and increasing inspections to increase detection of abuse. An opportunity for more proactivity and information sharing by government stakeholders was also raised during a government network meeting. Specifically, participants noted a need to try to anticipate problems in advance and that timely information sharing among government stakeholders would be beneficialFootnote 69
  • Similarly, migrant worker support organization representatives agreed that providing more and earlier information to stakeholders about plans and funding decisions would better enable collaboration and harmonization among organizations serving migrant workers

"I am interested about what the next call might look like and that there is enough of a lead time to really allow some partnership development and maybe some communication around where the needs are or to discuss some of the best practices."

Migrant worker support organization representative
  • Migrant worker support organization representatives also identified an opportunity for more standardization of materials to support clear, accurate and consistent understanding by stakeholders, as well as to reduce replication in materials developed and the need for review of materials by funders. To illustrate the need for standardized information, migrant worker support organization representatives provided examples such as recalling that officers in different provinces understood the criteria for assessing open work permit applications differently and that they had encountered misinformation or advocacy content in materials developed by some stakeholders. Some also identified possible opportunities to work with organizations that have provincial, national, or even international reach to foster more consistency, standardization and collaboration across jurisdictions 

"We should have clear material and ensure that everything that we're transmitting to all the temporary foreign workers is consistent and standardized throughout rather than having information that might be based in our beliefs."

Migrant worker support organization representative

Participation

  • Suggestions from migrant worker support organization or government representatives to enhance stakeholders' ability to participate network meetings included:
    • rotating meeting location (that is, beyond the Lower Mainland) or hosting regional meetings to bring local stakeholders together
    • providing more advance notice for meetings
    • continuing with some online and in-person network components so that it is easier for out-of-town stakeholders to participate without losing the relationship building benefits of in-person interaction
    • holding shorter meetings so that stakeholders, including migrant workers, can more easily find time in their schedules to attend, and
    • compensating migrant workers to offset the cost of participating
  • Other possible strategies to increase meeting accessibility for migrant workers that were identified during network plenary meetings included the following:Footnote 70
    • facilitating participation by teleconference
    • holding meetings at times when workers are available
    • providing interpretation support
    • holding information meetings for workers in conjunction with fun events, and
    • communicating updates and events to workers via cell phone
  • Employer/industry representatives also see an opportunity for more employer involvement from sectors other than agriculture

"In the future, we need to get more employers involved, most of all. Getting the right people at the table is important."

Employer/Industry representative

Focus and direction

  • Employer/industry representatives would like the network to continue if changes are made so that there is clear governance and concrete goals and objectives. They described how this would allow useful networking and exchange of ideas and information to continue, while helping to address scope creep and improving transparency and accountability
    • additional clarity around objectives and scope would also help to determine whether various activities were eligible for funding (for example, English language classes, employment services)
  • Some employer/industry representatives highlighted the opportunity for future network activities to include greater focus on positive elements and best practices – for instance, lessons learned from employers who comply with TFWP requirements and offer good supports to their employees. This could increase the number of actionable takeaways from meetings and help reduce tension

Other

Other suggestions to overcome weaknesses or threats included:

  • include additional government partners in network activities – for example, CBSA and the CRA
  • create a directory of network members to further support communication and coordination among stakeholders
  • consider user/stakeholder experiences in network activities – for example, if there is a way to restructure meetings or presentations so that government entities do the work up front to "connect the dots" (for example, make linkages, explain relationships between processes) instead of presenting information in a silo and expecting stakeholders to navigate complicated government programs and processes
  • the Evaluation Directorate identified several suggestions for consideration to address funding program reporting challenges/issues moving forward. These included:Footnote 71
    • reporting numbers in a consistent and accurate way
    • ensuring quarterly reports only reflect the activities conducted during that quarter
    • quantifying activities and outputs when possible
    • considering providing funding recipients with specific reporting guidelines to facilitate the collection of important information, and
    • considering options to clearly gauge whether activities fall within the scope of the network, which could include expanding network objectives, ensuring the connection between activities and intended objectives/outcomes is clear and/or establishing clear funding eligibility criteria

Considerations

Based on network progress and achievements during the pilot period, as well as a SWOT analysis and review of future considerations informed by stakeholder input, recommendations for consideration by ESDC are as follows:

  1. extend the network in British Columbia, taking into account considerations raised throughout this report, to further protect and support migrant workers to learn about and exercise their rights

    Specifically, it is recommended to continue both the funding program and network meeting components given the contributions of each to the network's stated outcomes and sub-objectives, particularly with respect to increasing connections among stakeholders and increasing migrant workers' access to information and support. However, the model should be modified based on the following recommendations to address weaknesses and threats and further leverage strengths and opportunities identified through the network
  2. ensure there is a structured process for clearly, consistently and predictably sharing key network information back to stakeholders through known and readily accessible channels.
    Enhanced information sharing back to stakeholders is recommended to strengthen trust and buy-in as well as increase opportunities for shared understanding and collaboration among stakeholders. These channels should ensure stakeholders know where they can go to for routine access to information and updates about network objectives and activities, decisions (including funding decisions), actions undertaken by ESDC and other federal government stakeholders in response to network outputs and outcomes. Possible options could include enhanced usage and promotion of the online virtual platform created by ESDC (that is, the GCcollab group for the network), exploration of alternate channels more aligned with stakeholders' needs or preferences (for example, email newsletters), or a combination of both
  3. consider opportunities to improve the funding program to further leverage strengths and address weaknesses identified through the assessment
    Possible opportunities include:
    • using multi-year agreements with flexible timelines to provide greater certainty and sustainability as well as providing ample time and encouragement for applicants to develop partnerships and collaborative approaches
    • defining clear eligibility criteria and regional- or stream-specific needs in order to support consistent understanding, transparency and identification of collaboration opportunities by all stakeholders, including those not eligible for funding themselves (for example, employers)
    • maintaining flexibility for recipients to direct some funding to activities indirectly related to desired outcomes (for example, community-building events) if they can be plausibly linked to relationship- and trust-building with an aim to ultimately provide direct supports to migrant workers, in line with desired outcomes of the network
    • utilizing open calls for proposals for direct contribution agreements to extend the opportunity to other organizations and mitigate any concerns associated with direct solicitation, and
    • developing standardized templates, criteria, or information that can replace the need for materials to be reviewed by funders (for example, by clearly delineating "official" content while also allowing organizations to provide tailored information based on their own context or expertise)
  4. consider opportunities to improve network plenary and migrant worker forum meetings to further leverage strengths and address weaknesses identified through the assessment
    Possible opportunities include:
    • using a blended approach of in-person and virtual meetings that strategically utilizes in-person plenary meetings less frequently (and when public health guidance permits) to facilitate networking, information sharing and collaboration, paired with shorter and/or more frequent virtual meetings to meet stakeholders' educational and informational needs as well as increase reach/accessibility by lessening or spreading out the time commitment
    • rotating meeting locations to increase accessibility of stakeholders in different geographic locations
    • including sessions that bring stakeholders together (particularly government stakeholders) to collaborate in advance and develop joint presentations that show linkages across agencies or organizations for other stakeholders
    • replacing the voting process at plenary meetings with a less formal and more collaborative process (for example, allowing stakeholders to "endorse" recommendations instead), and
    • assessing the feasibility of offering honoraria to migrant workers to offset plenary meeting participation costs while continuing other strategies implemented during the pilot period to support inclusion and accessibility of migrant workers (for example, providing interpretation/translation and sessions without stakeholders such as employers)
  5. conduct targeted outreach to migrant workers and employers in sectors other than agriculture to increase network reach and identify additional barriers, issues and/or needs
    Targeted outreach is recommended to increase the network's reach of migrant workers and employers in additional sectors (that is, beyond agriculture) and also to assess interest in the network participation and identify sector-specific barriers, issues and/or needs. Such engagement would help to better understand whether any sector-specific gaps or barriers exist that could be targeted by network activities to further support migrant workers. Migrant worker support organizations may be well placed to provide support given their established connections within communities.
  6. provide opportunities for multi-stakeholder, region- and sector-specific discussions to identify and map outstanding needs and gaps to inform funding criteria or calls for proposals for future rounds of funding
    To increase alignment between network meetings and the funding program and to support the development of strategic, region- and stream-specific funding criteria, it is recommended that network meetings (or separate meetings) include dedicated opportunities for multi-stakeholder, region- and sector-specific discussions to support nuanced identification and mapping of outstanding needs and gaps. This information can then serve as an input for development of funding criteria or calls for proposals for future rounds of funding. The development of strategic funding criteria can also promote the funding of activities that aim to address the outstanding challenges and barriers to migrant worker protection identified in Achievement of outcomes, Weaknesses and Threats sections
  7. utilize the government network meetings to explore whether and how the network can better inform policy development and government funding decisions as well as increase collaboration between different levels and branches of government
    It is recommended that government network meetings be further utilized to address identified challenges and barriers to utilizing the network to support policy development, funding decisions and collaboration among government stakeholders. One possibility would be to establish working groups to explore the feasibility, constraints, and required resources or steps to address known barriers or seize identified opportunities (for example, implementing network recommendations), increasing information sharing between government stakeholders to enhance detection of abuse, or establishing a single point of entry for stakeholders (including migrant workers) to raise questions or issues related to the broad range of migrant worker issues that span departments and governments.
  8. if the network is expanded to other jurisdictions, conduct broad consultations to assess whether there is local interest and need for a network focused on migrant worker protection
    Given the general interest in network expansion among stakeholders involved in the British Columbia pilot, it is recommended that ESDC conduct broader consultations in other jurisdictions to assess whether there is local interest and need as well. Before expanding the network to another jurisdiction, there is a need to ensure thorough and transparent consultations, needs assessments, and planning exercises are undertaken to identify and map existing services, stakeholders and assets that can be leveraged to address specific and demonstrated needs in a coordinated manner. Sufficient time should be provided for meaningful engagement of all relevant stakeholders who wish to participate. Assessment of opportunities for national coordination and standardization could be simultaneously pursued.
  9. develop a logic model and a data collection/reporting system for the network
    It is recommended that a logic model and data collection tools/processes be developed to systematically gather data that can be used to monitor network operations and assess achievement of intended immediate, intermediate and ultimate outcomes.
    Consideration should also be given to the other opportunities to address weaknesses or threats that were identified by stakeholders (described in the Opportunities to address weaknesses or threats section).

Appendix 1: Overview of contribution agreements

The following 3 not-for-profit organizations received contribution funding from ESDC as part of the network pilot. An overview of each agreement is provided below.

The Community Airport Newcomers Network implemented by The United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society (SUCCESS)

  • Contribution amount: $563,545
  • Duration: February 20, 2019, to March 31, 2020
  • Description:
    • developed, translated and distributed informational material for migrant workers through various channels
    • provided orientation and referral services for migrant workers at their point of entry

Building Capacity to Support British Columbia's Migrant Workers implemented by the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of British Columbia (AMSSA)

  • Contribution amount: $372,470
  • Duration: March 4, 2019, to March 31, 2020
  • Description:
    • provided a variety of informational material and support to organizations serving migrant workers

Community Capacity Building Supporting and Educating Migrant Workers implemented by Multilingual Orientation Services Association for Immigrant Communities (MOSAIC)

  • Contribution amount: $1,509,000
  • Duration: February 25, 2019, to March 31, 2020
  • Description:
    • provided education, outreach and support to migrant workers
    • acted as a funding intermediary and distributed funding to 23 collaborating agencies that implemented a variety of activities

Appendix 2: Assessment matrix

Question 1a: To what extent have activities with direct influence on migrant workers contributed to the following desired outcomes:Footnote 72

  • supporting migrant workers in reporting wrongdoing
  • providing information to migrant workers on the rights to temporarily remain and work in Canada free from harassment and abuse
  • detecting and deterring abuse of migrant workers
  • increasing employers' awareness and understanding of TFWP conditions and their responsibilities in upholding migrant workers' rights
Table 3: Activities with direct influence on migrant workers: some funding program and migrant worker forum activities
Associated desired outcomes Indicator Data source
1a.1 Providing information to migrant workers on the rights to temporarily remain and work in Canada free from harassment and abuse 1a.1 Extent to which the network increased the knowledge of migrant workers about their rights to remain and work in Canada free from harassment and abuse Document review, focus groups and interviews
1a.2 Supporting migrant workers in reporting wrongdoing 1a.2 Extent to which the network increased the awareness of migrant workers of the mechanisms to report wrongdoing Document review, focus groups and interviews
1a.3 Supporting migrant workers in reporting wrongdoing 1a.3 Extent to which the network increased the awareness of migrant workers of support available for reporting wrongdoing Document review, focus groups and interviews
1a.4 Supporting migrant workers in reporting wrongdoing 1a.4 Extent to which the network provided migrant workers with support to report wrongdoing Document review, focus groups and interviews
1a.5 Supporting migrant workers in reporting wrongdoing 1a.5 Extent to which the network increased the likelihood of migrant workers to report wrongdoing Document review, focus groups and interviews
1a.6 Detecting and deterring abuse of migrant workers 1a.6 Extent to which the network improved the detection of abuse Document review, focus groups and interviews
1a.7 Detecting and deterring abuse of migrant workers 1a.7 Extent to which the network deterred employers from abuse of migrant workers Document review, focus groups and interviews
1a.8 Increasing employers' awareness and understanding of TFWP conditions and their responsibilities in upholding migrant workers' rights 1a.8 Extent to which the network increased the awareness and understanding of employers of TFWP conditions Document review, focus groups and interviews

Question 1b: To what extent have activities with indirect influence on migrant workers contributed to the following sub-objectives:Footnote 73

  • address migrant workers' and other stakeholders' and partners' education, support and outreach needs
  • build trust, strengthening collaboration and harmonizing services
  • network and information share
  • develop policy and funding recommendations to improve worker protections (short-term and long-term)
Table 4: Activities with indirect influence on migrant workers: network plenary, government network activities and some funding program and migrant worker forum activities
Associated sub-objective Indicator Data source
1b.1 Address migrant workers' and other stakeholders' and partners' education, support and outreach needs 1b.1 Extent to which the network addresses migrant workers' education, support and outreach needs Document review, focus groups and interviews
1b.2 Address migrant workers' and other stakeholders' and partners' education, support and outreach needs 1b.2 Extent to which the network addresses stakeholders' and partners' education, support and outreach needs Document review, focus groups and interviews
1b.3 Network and information share 1b.3 Extent to which the network increased connections among stakeholders during and after activities Document review, focus groups and interviews
1b.4 Network and information share 1b.4 Extent to which the network increased the sharing of information among stakeholders Document review, focus groups and interviews
1b.5 Build trust, strengthen collaboration and harmonize services 1b.5 Extent to which the network built trust among stakeholders Document review, focus groups and interviews
1b.6 Build trust, strengthen collaboration and harmonize services 1b.6 Extent to which the network increased the frequency or intensity of collaboration Document review, focus groups and interviews
1b.7 Build trust, strengthen collaboration and harmonize services 1b.7 Extent to which the network led to stakeholders harmonizingFootnote 74 their services Document review, focus groups and interviews
1b.8 Develop policy and funding recommendations to improve worker protections (short term and long term) 1b.8 Extent to which the network facilitated the development of policy and funding recommendations to improve worker protections Document review, focus groups and interviews
1b.9 Applicable to all 1b.9 Perceived barriers to achieving desired outcomes that are not fully addressed by the network Focus groups and interviews
1b.10 Applicable to all 1b.10 Perceived barriers to achieving desired outcomes that have been addressed by the network Focus groups and interviews
1b.11 Applicable to all 1b.11 The perceived role of other factors that contributed to the desired outcomes Focus groups and interviews

Question 2: What lessons can be learned from the Migrant Worker Support Network pilot that can inform a future cross-Canada approach to migrant worker protection that includes a funding and stakeholder engagement component?

Table 5: Indicator and data source
Indicator Data source
2.1 Perceived strengths of the network's design and implementation Document review, focus groups and interviews
2.2 Perceived weaknesses of the network's design and implementation Document review, focus groups and interviews
2.3 Perceived opportunities that were taken advantage of and were important for the network's success Document review, focus groups and interviews
2.4 Perceived threats from external factors that hindered the network's success Document review, focus groups and interviews
2.5 Perceived strengths or opportunities that can overcome or diminish weaknesses or threats Focus groups and interviews
2.6 Perceived opportunities and threats to expansion of the network outside of British Columbia Focus groups

Appendix 3: Additional detail on stakeholder engagement

The following tables provide additional detail on stakeholder participation in telephone interviews and virtual focus groups (conducted using the Zoom videoconference platform). 

Table 6: Interviews
Stakeholder type Number of participants Number of interviews
Migrant worker support organizations – Settlement agencies 9 6Footnote 75
Migrant worker support organizations – Other community-based organizations 2 2Footnote 76
Government representatives – Federal 5 2
Government representatives – Provincial 3 2
Government representatives – Foreign 2 2
Employer/industry representatives 3 3
Union representatives 2 2
Total 26 19
Table 7: Focus groups
Stakeholder type Number of participants Number of focus groups
Migrant worker support organizations and other supporters – Settlement agency 11 3
Migrant worker support organizations and other supporters – Other community-based organization 4 3
Migrant worker support organizations and other supporters – Union representatives 2 3
Migrant worker support organizations and other supporters – Independent experts 1 3
Migrant workers – Spanish speakers 12 2
Migrant workers – Tagalog speakers 6 1
Government representatives – Federal 2 1Footnote 77
Government representatives – Provincial 2 1
Government representatives – Foreign 2 0
Employer/industry representatives 5 1
Total 47 8

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