Group plans forum on foreign workers, rights

A community forum on Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program and workers’ rights will be held at the UFCW Training Centre, at Unit 4, 7464 50th Ave., on Saturday.

A community forum on Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program and workers’ rights will be held at the UFCW Training Centre, at Unit 4, 7464 50th Ave., on Saturday.

The forum is organized by Migrante Alberta, a Filipino migrant and immigrant advocacy group.

Jhong Dela Cruz of Migrante Alberta said the meeting will focus on the current moratorium on the program and what happens after it is lifted.

The federal government put a halt on the program after allegations came to light that some companies were laying off or not hiring Canadians and replacing them with temporary foreign workers.

The program is currently under review and new rules for the program are expected soon.

While the moratorium is likely to be lifted this week, Dela Cruz said the four-year limit for temporary foreign workers is quickly approaching.

In April 2011, a four-year ‘cumulative duration’ limit on the length of time many temporary foreign workers may work in Canada went into effect.

The earliest date that a foreign worker could reach the four-year cumulative duration limit is April 1, 2015.

There are some exceptions for skilled workers such as a manager or a supervisor.

“Otherwise if you are unskilled you have to be sent home,” said Dela Cruz. “We would like the government to work on a way for (those already working here) to become permanent residents … rather than sending them home.”

A similar forum was held in Edmonton last month.

The group has been making rounds at different fast food restaurants in Red Deer to let other workers know about the meeting.

The forum runs from 1 to 3 p.m. and is open to everyone.

For more information, call 403-392-8286 or 403-392-7178 or migrantealberta@gmail.com or Migrante Alberta on Facebook.

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