Naming and mapping companies interested in temporary foreign workers

Published: May 8, 2014

Rohana Rezel and a friend have set up a website to map businesses in B.C. that hire Temporary Foreign Workers and those that don’t. Arlen Redekop / PNG

GORDON MCINTYRE
VANCOUVER DESI

Vancouver entrepreneur Rohana Rezel has created a website that identifies and shows the locations of B.C. companies that have received approval to hire temporary foreign workers.

The site also invites companies to let Rezel know that they have not applied for any of the TFWs programs, but since the site is only days old, many of the ones showing up as of Tuesday afternoon were coffee franchises and Vancity locations.

“Vancity is the only banking institution in British Columbia not using the TFW program,” said Rezel, 35. “And I checked out the 50 largest companies in Canada and at least 40 of them have been approved for TFWs.”

His data only goes to 2012 — he’s waiting for 2013 data to arrive — and, he notes, to be fair not every company on his map necessarily has hired foreign workers. But he noted they have applied for the program and been approved, so they must at least have the intention of doing so.

Critics of the TFW program are sometimes labelled anti-immigration, racist even.

But you certainly can’t call Rezel either — he immigrated to Canada from Sri Lanka seven years ago.

He collected his TFW data from the Freedom of Information requests of others.

He is the founder and president of the IT firm Riolet Corp.

“Being a tech company, it wasn’t hard to take the data … and plot businesses on a map,” he said.

His map is divided between “good” companies — those who haven’t applied to hire TFWs — and “bad,” those that have.

Rezel said he’s not taking sides.

He agreed the terminology isn’t the best, with every company using the TFW programs being tarred with the same brush. But he also plans to introduce another category, listing companies that have been caught abusing the program.

That category, he mused, might be called “ugly.”

“This has been misclassified as a campaign against temporary foreign workers,” he said. “We’re an IT company, we don’t take sides at all.”

But he does have personal views on the program. “It’s a complex issue,” he said. “There are two sides.

“There is a time and place for temporary workers, for instance during harvest season or during peak times at tourist resorts such as Banff. Those businesses need legitimate help.”

And that was the original intent when the first temporary-workers program was introduced in 1973, he pointed out.

“It was never meant to replace Canadian workers,” Rezel continued. “And it creates two classes of victim because foreign workers can be exploited.

“The system is very flawed right now and open to abuse.”

gordmcintyre@theprovince.com

twitter.com/gordmcintyre


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

Spice Radio host Shushma Datt receives a Shakti Award in 2014. Submitted photo/Aziz Ladh Photography.

Surrey-based Shakti Society calls for award nominations to recognize Lower Mainland women

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Surrey’s non-profit Shakti Society is calling for nominations to recognize the achievements of women across the Lower Mainland at the 13th…
Continue Reading »

uber rape

San Francisco’s Uber faces lawsuit over India woman’s rape report

PAUL ELIAS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SAN FRANCISCO — A woman who says an Uber driver raped her in New Dehli, India, on Thursday accused the…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Curry chicken on rice. Sam Leung/PNG

Spicy treats on menu as 8 chef teams battle for Vancouver’s second-annual Curry Cup

VANCOUVER DESI A group of Lower Mainland chefs are set to go head-to-head with their South Asian cooking skills as they gear up for Vancouver’s…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Spice Radio host Shushma Datt receives a Shakti Award in 2014. Submitted photo/Aziz Ladh Photography.

Surrey-based Shakti Society calls for award nominations to recognize Lower Mainland women

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Surrey’s non-profit Shakti Society is calling for nominations to recognize the achievements of women across the Lower Mainland at the 13th…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Curry chicken on rice. Sam Leung/PNG

Spicy treats on menu as 8 chef teams battle for Vancouver’s second-annual Curry Cup

VANCOUVER DESI A group of Lower Mainland chefs are set to go head-to-head with their South Asian cooking skills as they gear up for Vancouver’s…
Continue Reading »

Bobby Singh

Spice Sports: Football Champion Bobby Singh – On & Off The Field

GOPI AND THE GORA FOR VANCOUVER DESI TUNE IN TO SPICE SPORTS, M-F, 5-7PM ON SPICE RADIO 1200AM Former BC Lion Bobby Singh was in…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-BC

Raise your hand, send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

Indian spectators watch as a float carrying a sign that reads "Congratulations! It's a Baby Girl" passes by during the Indian Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2015. The float represented India's Ministry of Women and Child Development.  An estimated 26 million babies are born anually in India, a country considered to be one of the worst places to be born a girl because of a societal 'gender gap' that favours boys and preferences for male children.  ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

India’s Supreme Court bans online advertisements for pre-birth sex tests

VANCOUVER DESI India’s Supreme Court has ordered Internet giants Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to block all advertisements for pre-birth tests that determine a child’s gender,…
Continue Reading »

sethi

American Punjabi rapper feels at home in Vancouver

Collaborative hip hop and artistic group Char Bagh set to play the PuSh Festival on Saturday   LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI California-based MC and artist…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Sikhs gather in Surrey April 2014 to celebrate Vaisakhi. Nick Procaylo/PNG

New study finds most Americans know nothing about Sikhism

ARUN KUMAR IANS Washington  – Although more than half a million Sikhs live in the U.S., a majority of Americans are unaware of what Sikhism…
Continue Reading »

Sri Lankan Air Force pilots fly MiG-27 jet fighters during a passing out ceremony of 329 men and officers in the north-eastern town of Trincomalee on August 21, 2009. Ishara S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images

Motorcyclist miraculously survives crash with Indian fighter jet

VANCOUVER DESI A 26-year-old groom-to-be miraculously survived after an Indian fighter jet collided with his motorcycle in Rajasthan, according to Britain’s Daily Mail. Loon Singh,…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Shah Rukh Khan (L) and Kajol (R) are rumoured to be appearing in the next Rohit Shetty film. Getty Images.

Will Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol reunite on-screen?

PRASHANT SINGH HINDUSTAN TIMES While Varun Dhawan has been making headlines regarding a possible remake of the 1989 film Ram Lakhan, the Hindustan Times has…
Continue Reading »

Indian Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan (L) with his wife Kareena Kapoor Khan attend the wedding of Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Khemu in Mumbai on January 25, 2015. STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Saif Ali Khan insists wife Kareena Kapoor has not converted to Islam

HINDUSTAN TIMES Ever since her marriage to Saif Ali Khan in Oct. 2012, Kareena Kapoor Khan has become a target for certain religious groups using…
Continue Reading »

Indian Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor  poses for a photograph during the Celebrity Cricket League (CCL) season five in Mumbai on January 10, 2015. STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Anil Kapoor says he exercises six days a week

IANS New Delhi  – Actor-filmmaker Anil Kapoor says he exercises six days a week and recalls the time he’d cycle to the set location –…
Continue Reading »