Doly Begum MPP, Scarborough Southwest

Government of Ontario

MPP Begum: Will Ford’s Conservatives act on reports of international students experiencing wage theft, predatory employers?

Published on June 23, 2023

QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario NDP Deputy Leader Doly Begum (Scarborough – Southwest) raised concerns brought forward by Naujawan Support Network (NSN) on the lack of enforcement of wage-theft complaints made to the Ministry of Labour.

NSN is a group of international students and immigrant workers largely based in Peel region, who have been advocating to protect vulnerable workers against wage-theft, predatory employers, and poor working conditions. The group has requested a meeting with the Ministry to urgently address exploitation faced by these workers.

During Question Period today, Begum highlighted information gained from a Freedom of Information inquiry shared an excerpt from NSN’s letter to the Minister focusing on the reality faced by these workers.

“In 2014 there were 18,000 employment standards investigations. By 2021 that number had dropped to only 8,000. Workers facing wage theft regard the Ministry as ‘weak and ineffective’. They do not trust the Ministry to protect workers by enforcing the orders it issues or prosecute harmful employers”, added Begum.

“Does the Minister think it’s acceptable that millions of dollars – $9,000,000 – owed to workers in Brampton and elsewhere in the last year has been pocketed by greedy employers?”

The full letter is available here.