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Court certifies class-action suit involving 450 foreign workers who got no jobs

Last Updated Sep 19, 2017 at 3:55 pm PDT

(Photo courtesy macs.ca)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Supreme Court of British Columbia has certified a class-action lawsuit against Mac’s Convenience Stores and three Surrey-based immigration consultants who collected thousands of dollars from foreign workers who were promised non-existent jobs.

A written decision says prospective employees were given employment contracts to work at Mac’s stores in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories under Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker program.

They were recruited at job fairs in Dubai and paid up to $8,500, only to arrive in Canada to learn there were no jobs at Mac’s, they couldn’t work elsewhere and their money would not be returned.

Lawyer Susanna Quail says up to 450 workers paid for jobs that didn’t exist.

“I really hope it will have an impact on current policy. You know, a couple years ago, there were a lot of stories about abuses in the program and the federal government –then it was the Conservatives– closed the tap. So, they shrank the size of the program, but they didn’t change the actual problems that temporary workers face. They’re very, very vulnerable to abuse.”

Prakash Basyal says in an affidavit he arrived in 2014 and received a permit allowing him to work as a cashier at a Mac’s store in Edmonton but was instead sent to work at a bottle depot in Calgary, where two months later he was detained by Canada Border Services for working illegally.

The allegations have yet to be proven in court and lawyers for the defendants declined to comment.