Temporary Worker Rights

As a well-developed nation, Canada provides a variety of laws that serve to protect immigrants of all different types. Even if you are only a temporary worker within Canada you still have access to the rights reserved for workers in Canada.

If you are a temporary worker you may be able to apply for Permanent Residency, and eventually citizenship, which would entitle you to the full rights of Canadian citizens.

The purpose of labor laws within Canada are to ensure that immigrants (and all other people in Canada) are not taken advantage of or exploited. Just because you are a temporary resident does not mean that you are somehow less of a person than a Permanent Resident or citizen and you should not be treated as such.

Laws regarding labor issues are mostly decided by the individual provinces and you should contact them for more information on fair wages and other labor regulations. Below is a list of these organizations.

Dominion of Canada The national body, Labour Canada, Should be contacted at 1-800-641-4049 for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
Alberta The Employment and Immigration Office Employment Standards Branch is the department you should call in Alberta at 1-877-427-3731. If you are hearing impaired and live in Edmonton please call (780) 427-9999.
British Colombia The Ministry of Labour and citizens’ Services Employment Standards Branch is the labour department to contact in the province of British Colombia. You can call them within British Colombia at 1-800-663-3316 or from outside the province at (250) 612-4100.
Manitoba The Manitoba Labour and Immigration Employment Standards Department can be contacted in Winnipeg at (204) 945-3352, or at 1-800-821-4307 for other places.
New Brunswick The Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour’s Employment Standards Branch should be contacted with any questions regarding labour laws in New Brunswick. Call (506) 453-2725 for Fredericton, otherwise call 1-888-452-2687.
Newfoundland and Labrador Human Resources, Labour and Employment’s Labour Relations Agency should be contacted with questions about labour in Newfoundland and Labrador. There are three numbers you can call: (709) 729-2743, (709) 729-2742 or 1-877-563-1063.
Northwest Territories Education, Culture and Employment’s Employment Standards are responsible for the dissemination of labour information in the Northwest Territories. They can be reached at (867) 873-7486 or 1-888-700-5707.
Nova Scotia The Labour and Workforce Development Labour Standards Division should be contacted with any questions about labour in Nova Scotia. Call at (902) 424-4311 or 1-888-315-0110.
Nunavut The Department of Justice’ Labour Standards Office should be contacted in Nunavut at (867) 975-7293 or 1-877-806-8402.
Ontario The Ministry of Labour Employment Standards Branch should be contacted if you live in Ontario. If you live outside of Toronto you should call 1-800-531-5551, or (416) 326-7160 if you live within the Toronto area.
Prince Edward Island Advanced Education, Employment and Labour’s Labour Standards Department is the place you should call in Saskatchewan. Their Regina telephone number is (306) 787-2438. Other places should call 1-800-667-1783.
Quebec The Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour Employment Standards Branch should be contacted with any labour question on Prince Edward Island. Call at (902) 368-5552 or 1-800-333-4360.
Saskatchewan Commission des norms du travail is the labour department for the province of Quebec and can be contacted at either (514) 873-7061 or 1-800-265-1414.
Yukon Department of Community services’ Labour Services Office should be contacted for information in the Yukon. They can be reached at (867) 667-5944 or at 1-800-661-0408 ext. 5944.


Don’t let yourself be intimidated by an employer, you have your rights!