Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program: what are the risks?

From SHARE | by Shannon Rohan on January 23, 2014

Recent allegations of abusive practices by a British Columbia Tim Horton’s franchisee have once again raised concerns about the use and abuse of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). According to workers at a Fernie, BC Tim Horton’s franchise, the owner required temporary foreign workers to pay him cash for overtime pay received as well as to reimburse him for program fees (which are legally the responsibility of the employer). The RCMP has been called in to investigate the allegations, and none of them have yet been proven in court.

However, another Tim Horton’s franchisee in BC was already the subject of a formal complaint before the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal which alleges that the Dawson Creek, BC franchise owner coerced workers to rent substandard housing from him at inflated rates. And while that complaint specifically relates to alleged actions by a franchisee, the complainant is also alleging that Tim Horton’s “created conditions under which the discrimination was possible, and even likely.” A similar complaint at a Saskatchewan franchise suggests that the use of the program by its franchisees poses a continuing risk to the Tim Horton’s brand.

Tim Horton’s is not the only company to face criticism over the use of the TFWP. Read More >>

Listen to Stephen Whipp on CBC regarding temporary foreign workers in April 2013.

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