Group Blames Government For Exodus Of Foreign Workers

September 17, 2015 News
The Fort Saskatchewan Kabisig Society held a fundraiser for Myla Morales, the latest TFW to leave the Fort, on Saturday, Sept. 12. The funds will help Morales set up a new life again in the Philippines.

The Fort Saskatchewan Kabisig Society held a fundraiser for Myla Morales, the latest TFW to leave the Fort, on Saturday, Sept. 12. The funds will help Morales set up a new life again in the Philippines.

A Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW)’s recent forced departure from Canada is another example of the federal government letting workers down, charges a local support group.

Fort Saskatchewan Kabisig Society President Clarrize Truscott points to the ordeal of Myla Morales as an example of the federal government not doing enough to help TFWs renew their work permits or acquire permanent status.

The society recently held a fundraiser to help Morales get back on her feet when she arrives back in her native Philippines.

Morales worked at a hotel in Fort Saskatchewan for about two years before being forced to leave on Sept. 14 due to an inability to renew her work permit.

She came to Canada from the United Arab Emirates because she believed it would offer a better life for her and her family.

“Because Canada presents itself as a country that is welcoming to immigrants, she grabbed that opportunity,” Truscott said. “But unfortunately … so many renege on their promises. And our government definitely reneges on their promises to actually give them a chance for permanent status.”

Morales says her employer did make any effort to renew her permit, which she believes was intentional. “When he received the (renewal) paper, he didn’t apply for the extension of the work permit,” she said. “He really (did not) want to extend my permit.”

According to Truscott, Morales almost had to sell her car to pay for her return flight ticket. But government rules indicate that employers of a TFW must pay for return flights if they lose their status.

Truscott said the employer did finally agree to pay the plane ticket after the society was in contact with him. She expects the trend of TFWs forced removal from Canada to continue.

“I know that almost every week I get a phone call and at least two or three people are leaving,” she said. “I know (local restaurants) are cutting down their hours because so any have left already.”

The impact of reform to the TFW program is particularly acute in Alberta. According to a March 2015 report by the Canada West Foundation, Alberta will lose six times as many TFWs as Ontario by 2016.

This is further compounded by the fact that the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program, a provincial program that offers permanent residence, is no longer accepting applications, Truscott said.

“There has a lot of backlash in the AINP,” she said. “And that’s the other unfair situation most temporary foreign workers are facing right now – those who have AINP applications, many have lost that option due to the delays in the processing.”

Morales said she’s planning on going back to the United Arab Emirates to hopefully work with her previous employer. She wants to work to help her mother in the Philippines, who has a heart condition. She said she would consider coming back to Canada in the future, with some conditions.

“I’m thinking so, but before coming back here, I should be prepared.”

omar.mosleh@sunmedia.ca

Twitter.com/@OmarMoshleh

Source: fortsaskatchewanrecord.com