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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 test tube. (Contributed)
test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health launches online booking for COVID-19 tests

Testing is available to anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms

selfie.
Morning Start: Selfies Kill More People Than Sharks

Your morning start for Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

Gabrielle Clarke is an art therapist in Golden who works in mixed media art. Clarke’s art will be on display downtown at the Go-Lab. (Gabrielle Clarke photo)
Mixed media arts show comes to Go-Lab

Clarke’s art will be on display until Nov. 6

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

A 20-year-old man was pronounced dead following a three vehicle collision on Highway 1 west of Revelstoke Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (File photo)
One dead after Highway 1 crash near Revelstoke

20-year-old man pronounced dead at the scene of a three vehicle collision west of Revelstoke

Steven Stuart Gardner has been charged with possession of a firearm contrary to an order and possession of a firearm without a licence. He has also been charged, under the Motor Vehicle Act, with driving while prohibited. (Crime Stoppers photo)
Car connected to shooting, dumped in Chase leads to unrelated arrest

Investigation of Kamloops shooting leads police to a rural Chase property

Volunteer registered nurse Stephanie Hamilton recieves a swab from a driver as she works at a Covid-19 testing site in the parking lot at Everett Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
13 more COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

There are 624 cases in the region since the start of the pandemic

The body of Natsumi Kogawa, 30, was found in the Gabriola Mansion on Davie Street, Vancouver, in September 2016. Vernon man William Schneider, who was found guilty of second-degree murder, now awaits the decision of his appeal hearing Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (Vancouver Police Department photo)
No decision yet for Vernon man appealing murder sentence

William Victor Schneider was convicted in relation to Natsumi Kogawa’s death in 2016

Vernon once again boasts the lowest gas prices in B.C. Oct. 20, 2020. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
North Okanagan boasts lowest gas prices in B.C.

Gas going up, and down, in Vernon specifically

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

École de L’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 confirmed at Kelowna Francophone school

École de L’Anse-au-sable is not affiliated with local SD23

Most Read