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Newspaper article

Immigration charges cost P.E.I. trucking firm




Dave Stewart


Failure to pay airfare for a foreign skilled worker has cost a P.E.I. trucking company.

Newspaper title

The Guardian

Full text

Failure to pay airfare for a foreign skilled worker has cost a P.E.I. trucking company.
Bulk Carriers Ltd. agreed Tuesday to make a $2,000 voluntary donation to either the Queen Elizabeth Hospital or the food bank.
In provincial court Tuesday, Judge Nancy Orr did not order, but suggested the company do that rather than hit it with a criminal conviction.
The company is facing charges under Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act with misrepresentation and counselling to misrepresent.
Jack Kelly, owner of Bulk Carriers Ltd., was not in court Tuesday but Mike Schutt, operations manager with Bulk and one of the people in charge of bringing in foreign skilled workers, was.
His lawyers agreed to the donation and the matter will be back in court on Monday at 2:30 p.m. when Orr could adjourn the matter, as long as the donation has been made.
Since being charged, Bulk Carriers has lost $700,000 in business and some U.S. customers.
Crown lawyer Len MacKay, with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, said Orr felt the company had suffered enough but didn't want to let it off completely.
"She agreed that even though the company had suffered some consequences already that something more needed to be done other than an absolute discharge so she suggested a creative idea where the accused, outside the court process, could make a donation to help send the message to themselves and to other people not to do these kinds of things,'' MacKay said in an interview with media outside the court room.
Bulk Carriers continues to employ many foreign workers. It currently has 60 employees, half of whom are foreign workers on temporary work permits issued by Immigration Canada.
One of the conditions outlined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act deals with return airfare. Bulk did not pay for one employee's airfare, identified as David Floyd, and violated the act. Lawyers representing the company declined to comment until the trial is over.
MacKay said he agrees that the bad publicity, the financial impact of the charges and the donation will be enough to deter other companies.
"The premise for the Crown is that these temporary foreign workers are in a really vulnerable position. They want to get to Canada any way they can to get these jobs,'' he said. "The company is in a bit of an unequal bargaining position so they can actually take advantage of workers so we don't want that to happen.''
The cost of sending Floyd back to the United Kingdom and their belongings was eventually covered by the provincial government, according to the agreed statement of facts, with a $1,000 contribution from Bulk and another contribution from Floyd's subsequent employer in P.E.I. MacKay acknowledged companies have issues with bringing foreign workers in, only to have them leave prior to their contractual obligation.


Economic sectors


Content types

Policy analysis and Documented cases of abuse

Target groups

Public awareness

Geographical focuses

Canada, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, British Columbia, Other provinces, Federal, Nova Scotia, United Kingdom, and National relevance