PM Harper admits employers abuse Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Jane Ordinario and Leo Alejandria are not strangers to the struggles of the thousands of Filipino workers who come to B.C. lured by the promise of steady work at better pay than they can make at home.

Immigrants from the country themselves, both now work at Migrante-B.C., an organization working to help immigrants know their rights and deal with employment disputes.

The group hosts workshops about workplace rights in Canada and discovered how much the Temporary Foreign Workers Program was being used when more people attached to it began showing up at the events.

"They're here on temporary visas and they want to stay here permanently and maybe bring their family over," explained Alejandria. "They don't want to make waves and create attention for themselves so when there's violations like safety or employment violations they'd rather suffer silently."

In early January Harper admitted to a press conference of ethnic media held in secret that the program was being misused by some companies and needed reining in.