Foreign worker program on Wilks’ radar

A handful of ridings in Canada are still having issues with last year's changes to the TFWP, including Kootenay-Columbia.

The changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program have been implemented for quite some time in Canada, and most of the country is having no problems with it. There are, however, a handful of ridings in the country that are struggling, and Kootenay Columbia is one of them.

“It is a significant problem in my riding,” said Kootenay Columbia MP David Wilks during an open Let’s Do Lunch meeting in Golden last week.

Canada is as diverse at it is large, and Wilks says that having one uniform law blanketing the entire country just doesn’t work. A city with a workforce of millions to draw upon has very different issues than a town with a workforce of a couple thousand.

“The local population is already working. These are small pools of workers we’re talking about here,” he said.

The regulations changed in 2014 when Wilks says the program was taken advantage of by a few businesses. Now, several businesses in Golden are struggling to fill positions, particularly in the tourism industry where wages are not high enough to entice Canadian workers to move here.

“It’s hard to get by on $15-$20 and hour, and business owners are not going to be able to convince someone from Vancouver to move here for that,” said Wilks.

Wilks, local government, and the Kicking Horse Country Chamber of Commerce have been hearing complaints about the program here in Golden. Several months back, Howard Johnson hotel owner Pavi Khunkhun came forward saying his family (including his parents) were forced to clean rooms themselves because they could not find staff to do it. Khunkhun tried to find workers through the Temporary Foreign Worker program, but was denied after paying the non-refundable application fee.

“This program needs to recognize different demographics,” said Wilks. “It’s just not working here.”

The more opposition the program sees, the more likely it is that a change will be made. At a local level, Wilks suggests a petition sent to Ottawa would be the best course of action.


Just Posted

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will use less greenhouse gases.

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Smiles all around as province announces emergency ward funding

$2.1 million to go to much-needed upgrades

As avalanche danger grows, BC heli-skiers exercise caution

Company relies on guides’ decades of experience

Heli-skiing operation “very concerned” by new caribou protection regs

Habitat protection is important, but ‘at what cost?’, asks Nakusp tourism operator.

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Most Read