Warning for all future immigrants and temporary workers to Canada.

In Canada it is illegal to pay people for helping newcomers filling out forms, as well as illegal to exchange money for a visa. That is solely the job of the governmental services and  is basically free, with a low administration fee for processing application and sending the documents. All promises that a mediator or an agent can help you get in for a (large)  fee is fraudulent and illegal practice.  Your acceptance as a worker in Canada on a temporary visa and your licence or visa to stay in the country under another arrangement, is solely up to the immigration staff. 

Recently, the media has reported on exploitative practices in Canada from unscrupulous employers that arranged for cheap labour to their work sites by attracting  temporary labourers from Mexico, the Philippines and other countries. Ontario and BC, including the beautiful Okanagan valley, have many workers to help pick fruit. Alberta is attracting oil filed workers as they have a serious labour shortage.

Poor housing and living arrangements have been found and scared workers at those sites that do not complain for fear of being deported. They were treated unfairly and received no answers when they asked. Make no mistake, just as in other nations, Canadian employers are not beyond exploitation of these workers who are vulnerable.

Just making sure that people will know the facts:

– After having arrived in Canada, no employer can withdraw your temporary visa for frivolous reasons, or threaten you with pulling you of the list of temporary workers when you do not follow your employer’s directions, when these are unreasonable or  not related to your work performance.

– Do not hand in your visa or passport to anybody. That is illegal and these documents remain your property.

– Complain when things are not right. You can always call the immigration office in the closest city or go on line to find information:http://www.cic.gc.ca/app/ctcvac/english/index and ask for clarification, when an employer demands unfair performance or threatens you.

– Ask for somebody who speaks your language–it is a requirement at immigration offices to find a translator.

The following is an article that was published on line by a Canadian law firm on their website http://www.Canadaupdates.com, as a warning for people from countries were possibly payoffs and other bribing practices are more common. Corruption is illegal and not a common practice, so to all foreign workers, I say don’t fall for it and demand better.

Foreigners lured with lucrative jobs in Alberta Oil Industry-another Immigration Scam

by Angel – July 9, 2012    An immigration scam to lure foreigners

Alberta has an oil reserve of 171.3 billion barrels, making up the third largest crude oil reserve in the world. The volume of oil is indicated well by the fact that it can meet the nation’s requirement for 400 years to come.

Foreigners are attracted by this nation and hence are lured by the unauthorized agents and individuals. There are many case histories when foreigners have been given false assurances of reaching Canada and working in a reputed firm for a very high salary.

Against the “false hope” a huge amount of money is realized from the aspirants and in turn they are made to wait for years in the name of “processing time”.

A Canadian of Nepalese origin has revealed that more than 100 aspirants from Asia were “ruined economically” in the name of availing a job in Alberta’s oil Industry. 

The two individuals who have been charged under the Criminal Code and refugee Protection Act are Bradley Jacobson and Kendall Schmidt. They are supposedly appearing in the Winnipeg law court.

Jacobson was an immigration Consultant, working under Canada Regulatory Council.

The local consultants in Nepal have informed that these “victims” have paid about $1,300 for getting a job in the said Province.

In order to pay the money, the aspirants even sold their lands back home and borrowed money from others, which clearly indicate their desperation.

Nepal does not pay the oil workers well; the wages there are as low as $8 per day.  Hence people thought this opportunity to be an exceptional one and tried to grab it at any cost.

According to a local consultant, Pandey, the alleged owned a company in the name of CISI (Canadian Immigration Strategies). He also said that the “fraudulent” had assured people of getting jobs in Alberta at a rate of $17.45 per hour.

Jacobson had spread the “trap” quite well when he came to India with a person and introduced him as a representative of Oil company in the Province. 

Jacobson continued to lure the foreigners by showing them documents of fake companies and the demand of workers by them, until he was charged legally. 

People of Nepal are worried about making the repayment of their loan.

Jacobson has lost the membership of Canada Regulatory Council and his agency has been taken over by the Immigration Consultants of CRC.

A non-profit council has been set up to look into the rights of consumers and clear the mess at a faster pace.

So far this article.

The late CBC news yesterday  informed us that many foreign temporary workers are stranded in Northern Alberta, as they were not trained for the job they got hired, or for other reasons, possibly coming in the hope to get the job that was promised to them falsely. Many workers from Africa are recently trying to survive in Fort McMurray, now without an income, probably getting in trouble.

In Alberta 66,000 temporary foreign workers spread across the province are relying on the immigrant service agencies as they attempt to help them adjust to their new life. The Alberta Federation of Labour spokesperson, Nancy Furlong, demanded more fund for the agencies to assist with the exploitation and abuse of foreign workers witnessed on a  daily basis; she fears that even more abuse will happen to an increasing, underground (undocumented)  workforce. The NDP in Alberta released documentation stating that almost three quarters of the employers using foreign workers violated employment standards at provincial inspections in the past year. Alberta government will review the Temporary Worker Program and make recommendations by spring next year.

Furlang argues that Alberta needs the workers now and in the future and  said she would assist in scrapping the program and pressure the federal government to replace it with permanent settlement and real citizenship options and  immigration that works for all: Alberta, the workers and the employers.(from http:www.FortMcMurraytoday.com)

From my experiences, where they is quite a bit of money being made, there are also the drug dealers. No other legitimate jobs other than oilfield labour and service industry exists in northern Alberta. As employers try to circumvent inspections the dangers in the oil patch are multitude.

Jeez, can we not do a better job with the people we get to come here — the land of their dreams — and then we treat them much less than our own employees, like dirt?

Do not be a bystander if you know or see this happen and get involved to stop this and report the unscrupulous employers and so-called immigration agents.

Have you seen any of this happening, or do you think I exaggerated?

About BABYBOOMER johanna van zanten

My name is Johanna van Zanten. I am a baby boomer, interested in writing and connecting with other writers and readers to engage in discussions and information sharing, to share a point of view about current global issues, writing, and publishing, diversity, immigration, travel, music, life, specific baby boomer issues, and dating/relationship issues. I have written a novella, ON THIN ICE about baby-boomer Adrienne and will link this blog with the information website for this novella. Right now, I am trying out the blog.
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