Almost 50,000 work permits for foreign nationals destined for B.C. were issued in 2017.

Nearly 17,000 of those were issued under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

The Minister of Labour, Harry Bains has introduced legislation aimed protecting the workers from unscrupulous employers or recruiters.

“Some have worked or been housed in unfit, unsafe conditions, others been bullied and intimidated by employers that threaten to deport them if they don’t comply with their demands. Many never get paid, or are paid far less than they are entitled to.”

The legislation, if it’s passed, will require foreign worker recruiters to be licensed, and employers who recruit and hire temporary foreign workers to be registered.

It will establish criteria for issuing, refusing, suspending or cancelling a licence or registration.

And it will see tougher penalties for recruiters and employers who violate the legislation.