The federal government has temporarily barred Eassons Transport Ltd., a trucking company in Nova Scotia, from using the Temporary Foreign Worker Program pending an investigation into the company's requests for Labour Market Opinions, which are required to prove the need to hire a temporary foreign worker over a Canadian. Eassons Transport Ltd.
A two-month federal investigation has concluded that the owners of Eassons Transport Ltd., a trucking company in Berwick, N.S., did not abuse the rules of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
CBC News reported in May that the trucking company saw its use of the program temporarily suspended because the government said it had "reasonable grounds to suspect that the employer or group of employers provided false, misleading or inaccurate information."
Eassons Transport's name was removed from the government's so-called blacklist on July 1, after inspectors found that no rules were broken, an official in the department of Employment and Social Development Canada told CBC News on Wednesday.
"If, as a result of a thorough investigation, an employer is found to have not violated any of the program requirements, the suspension is lifted and the employer’s name is removed from the public website," said a media relations officer in an email to CBC News.
"This was the case with Eassons Transport Ltd."
Paul Easson, the president of the company, told CBC News he received a letter from Employment Minister Jason Kenney dated July 3 saying the suspension was lifted.
Employers who want to use the program must prove that they could not find a Canadian worker to fill the job by passing a Labour Market Impact Assessment, which until recently was known as a Labour Market Opinion.
According to Easson, Kenney's letter confirmed that the "audit was completed, our name was removed from the government web site, our Labour Market Opinion suspension was lifted."
Easson said the company was "very pleased" to learn the audit was completed, with the results "proving" that the company was in compliance with the rules under the foreign worker program.
In May, Easson told CBC News he assumed a complaint had been filed against the company but that he was fully co-operating with federal investigators and was confident the suspension would be lifted.
Companies blacklisted following CBC investigations
Three McDonald’s franchises in Victoria and a film company in B.C. saw their names added to a public list of employers who have been temporarily or permanently barred from using the program a result of a CBC Go Public investigation.
After a year-long review, Kenney announced last month an overhaul of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
The government said it received over 1,000 complaints filed through a tip line launched in April.
Kenney said the government will increase the number and scope of inspections going forward. Under the new rules, one in four employers will be inspected each year.
While the government has not been able to say exactly how many inspectors are currently tasked with conducting spot checks, officials told reporters in June the number is in the range of 40 and that the department expects to hire approximately 20 more.
Employers who have been found to have broken the rules could face fines of up to $100,000.
The government said it would also provide additional funding for the Canada Border Services Agency so it can pursue more criminal investigations.
Earlier today, the RCMP said it had arrested five people in the Toronto area for an alleged scam involving the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
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