Red Deer couple sentenced for mistreating workers

A couple have been sentenced for exploiting seven temporary foreign workers at an Econo Lodge in Red Deer.

Ravinder Sidhu, 48, received a two-year conditional sentence for using false or misleading information to bring in immigrant workers.

Her husband, Varinder, 51, was fined $5,000 for failing to keep proper employment records.

Judge David Plosz chastised both of them Thursday, telling them “shame on you both” and telling them they have no one to blame but themselves.

Court was told the wife paid the workers as little as $10 an hour, and one worker was told to do chores at the couple’s farm, which is a contract violation.

As well, she would house up to four workers in the same room while charging each of them the full monthly amount of $400 for accommodations.

Court was told the workers found themselves in a hostile situation, under constant threat that they would be deported if they told authorities about what was taking place.

The couple had previously been ordered to repay over $91,000 in wages to the workers after the violations were brought to light.

The Sidhus apologized for their actions, and defence lawyer Hersh Wolch said his clients were simply following bad advice they had received from an immigration expert.

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