Okanagan Coquihalla MP Discusses Temporary Foreign Worker Program

posted on August 28, 2014

By Anita Sthanklya, Kelowna Now | Link to Article

By Anita Sthanklya, Kelowna Now | Link to Article

A Merritt dance instructor who was in Canada working under the temporary foreign worker program and removed from the country because of administrative errors has finally been allowed to return.

After quite a bit of work the dance instructor has finally been allowed to return to Canada and will hopefully begin teaching children in the Nicola Valley how to dance again. News of the dance instructor’s return came this week from Okanagan Coquihalla MP Dan Albas.

“Throughout this process one of the challenges that I observed is the requirement for Government to ensure that all terms and conditions of a program are in compliance,” said Albas. “Part of the compliance process requires producing many documents that verify information that has been requested. This is of course can be frustrating for all involved not to mention time consuming and at times it can be easy to overlook why such a thorough verification process is established.”

Over the summer Albas says another situation arose in a different community involving temporary foreign workers, this one involving seasonal agricultural workers. Not much can be revealed about this situation, according to Albas, but what he did say was that two seasonal workers found themselves in an unacceptable and deplorable situation.

“In this case an intervention occurred and fortunately these workers are no longer in a perilous situation however I believe it is also important to recognize that it was the good nature of kind hearted neighbours who became aware of this issue and took action on it,” adds Albas. “Whenever these situations occur it is in my view important for elected officials to review the circumstances and related policy to try and ensure that a similar situation does not occur again in the future.”

For the past few months the temporary foreign worker program in Canada has been under the microscope because of the influx of people using the system to gain access to the country. The federal government called for a freeze of the program which has hurt many cities across Canada that relies on foreign workers to fill the gap with worker shortages. One of the hardest hit areas was in Fort McMurray as the city cannot find enough workers to keep many businesses open full time.

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