Precarious Pathways: Evaluating the Provincial Nominee Programs in Canada

50 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2012

See all articles by Jamie Baxter

Jamie Baxter

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law; Yale University - Law School

Date Written: July 6, 2010


Temporary foreign workers in Canada experience substandard employment relationships, are explicitly denied many formal rights and are practically excluded from most employment protections. Led by a growing emphasis on workers’ temporary status as a root cause of their employment-related vulnerabilities, some advocates, as well as elected officials, are now calling on governments to improve opportunities for workers to attain permanent residency in Canada, primarily for those in lower-skilled occupations. The central aim of this paper is to evaluate whether Provincial Nominee Programs are likely to address the real insecurities faced by vulnerable lower-skilled temporary foreign workers. Given that there are multiple potential pathways that could be designed for temporary workers to make the transition to permanent residency, a basic assumption of this study is that different paths are likely to lead to substantially different outcomes for workers, as well as for employers and communities. In all cases, these diverging outcomes should be assessed in terms of their overall efficacy at confronting individual workers’ current insecurities and in terms of their long-term effects on governments’ abilities to coordinate pathways between provincial jurisdictions and with the federal government.

Keywords: Economic immigration, provincial nominee program, temporary foreign workers

Suggested Citation

Baxter, Jamie, Precarious Pathways: Evaluating the Provincial Nominee Programs in Canada (July 6, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Jamie Baxter (Contact Author)

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
6061 University Ave
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

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