Talay Thai Restaurant In Limbo As Temporary Foreign Worker Chef Work Permits Set To Expire

April 9, 2015 News
Talay Thai restaurant in limbo as chef work permits set to expire - CBC

Talay Thai restaurant in limbo as chef work permits set to expire – CBC

The owner of a popular Thai restaurant on Bank Street says he may have to close his business if three chefs he employs are forced out of the country because of temporary foreign worker rules that took effect earlier this month.

Talay Thai owner Dome Sanguansuk said he has three workers who are on temporary foreign worker permits. One chef’s permit expired on April 1, though Dome has applied for an extension and has yet to hear a response from the government. The other two workers’ permits will expire in June.

“We might close the restaurant, we have no choice [if] we have no cook at all,” he said.

On April 1, 2011, the federal government introduced legislation known as the “four in and four out” rule, limiting how long some temporary foreign workers could work in Canada to four years.

The first temporary foreign workers to whom the rule applies could have reached their four-year limit on April 1, 2015.

After that, they must wait another four years — either outside Canada or in Canada as a visitor or student — before they can be granted a fresh work permit.

Previously, temporary foreign workers who came to Canada under the low-skilled stream could reapply to continue working for their Canadian employer.

All three chefs do not speak English and send part of their wages to help support their families in Thailand.

Dome says he has tried to hire a Canadian because it would eliminate a lot of paper work and legal costs. But he hasn’t found one who he feels is qualified and says as a small business, he doesn’t have the time or budget to train a chef in traditional Thai cuisine.

“We cannot find a Canadian citizen who has the skill, we cannot find that in Canada,” he said.

The federal government declined a CBC News interview request, but said in a statement “Work permit holders agree in their application that they are coming to work in Canada temporarily.

“Foreign workers must abide by the conditions of their work permit, including leaving the country when their work permit expires.”

Dome said he has applied for permanent resident status for his chef whose permit expired in April. Permanent resident applicants who receive a positive selection decision or approval in principle are exempt from the 2011 change.

Source: cbc.ca