Sicamous Man With ALS Says Temporary Foreign Worker Changes Will Make It Harder To Find Caregivers

April 14, 2015 News

Sicamous Man With ALSSICAMOUS – A Sicamous man with ALS is worried he may one day be forced into a facility because of changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Dave Letendre is a quadriplegic and requires 24 hour care. Right now a staff of caregivers allows him to continue living in his own home. However, when he needs to hire, few Canadians or permanent residents are interested in the jobs. In the past Letendre has hired foreign workers to fill the gap.

“These are jobs that a lot of Canadians would not take,” says one of Letendre’s caregivers, Joan Snyder.

However, changes to the program have made hiring foreign workers too expensive for Letendre. He was recently able to fill two vacancies but knows that people move on and he will eventually have to look for new staff.
“After eight years of hiring foreign workers, I will never be able to afford to hire another,” he says. “If I cannot find enough workers to take care of me 24 hours a day, I will have to go to a facility.” The changes mean caregivers can’t be required to live in their employers home but if they do, the employer can no longer charge for room and board. There is also a new wage requirement and the federal government has raised the fee for the mandatory Labour Market Impact Assessment to a thousand dollars.

Employment and Social Development Canada says the program was changed to “ensure it is only used as intended, as a last and limited resort to fill acute labour shortages on a temporary basis when qualified Canadians are not available.”

The federal government says the thousand dollar Labour Market Impact Assessment fee is being charged so that employers are paying for the program not taxpayers.