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Concerns about TFW program changes presented to MP Warkentin

More than 100 temporary foreign workers and the people they work with held a peaceful rally outside of Peace River MP Chris Warkentin’s office today.

Inside, a small group got to share their concerns about changes to the program with him, and say they were well received.

Brandy Baker does the hiring for a business in the food service industry, and worries about how she will maintain staffing and service levels.

“I haven’t had a resume in two months. If they have to go home, who’s going to fill the positions that they’re going to leave? Me, and I don’t want to be working 80 hours a week running a place where customers are going to be upset because they’re not getting the customer service that they had previously.”

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They gave Warkentin a letter with messages from local temporary foreign workers, as well as landed immigrants and Canadians, that he will take on to parliament in Ottawa.

One recurring theme was the shorter, one-year work term making it harder to get involved in the community, as well as meaning more time spent training, as TFW Jayson Len explains.

“I’ve been going to churches and going with some Canadian friends to bars – something like that – and doing things I don’t usually do in my home country. I am a bit attached already.”

The letter also noted concerns about the reduction in the number of TFWs that can be hired.

Chamber of Commerce CEO Dan Pearcy was on hand at the gathering, and says new regulations will mean 21-hundred jobs lost in northwest Alberta, primarily in the food sector.

During their meeting, Warkentin said he was in favour of the program, but he’d like to see more attention on the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program to get more permanent workers.

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