Go Public

Parvaz Film Corp. blacklisted following CBC Go Public investigation

The federal government has placed a second B.C. company on the public blacklist for its Temporary Foreign Worker Program as a result of a CBC Go Public investigation.

Company is 2nd one blacklisted from Temporary Foreign Worker Program following Go Public story

This Maple Ridge, B.C., photo studio is run by Sherry Soltani and her husband, Majid Mahichi. Their company, Parvaz Film Corporation, has been placed on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program blacklist.

The federal government has placed a second B.C. company on the public blacklist for its Temporary Foreign Worker Program as a result of a CBC Go Public investigation.

In April, the federal government blacklisted three McDonald's Victoria locations owned by franchisee Glen Bishop.

Both companies were profiled in CBC Go Public investigations.

Sherry Soltani and her husband, Majid Mahichi, run a Maple Ridge film company and produce cable TV shows in Farsi. (Facebook)

The blacklisting of the Parvaz Film Corporation follows a Go Public story in May about an Iranian couple who went public after paying the film company $15,000 to come to Canada for non-existent jobs.

Payam Bakht and Sareh Aminian also told Go Public that after they paid there were demands for more money under threat of deportation.

Aminian said her husband only received one day's paid work.

Statement from minister's office

Employment Minister Jason Kenny's office released a statement Friday on the suspension.

"Our government will not tolerate any abuse of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program," said the statement.

"The Labour Market Opinions and work permits were suspended as the minister of employment has reasonable grounds to believe that this employer, Parvaz Film Corporation, provided officials with false, misleading or inaccurate information."

"Parvaz Film Corporation has now been placed on the government's public blacklist for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program."

"An urgent investigation remains ongoing. If the investigation determines that this employer broke the rules of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, their existing Labour Market Opinions will be revoked."

Couple pleased with outcome

Immigration lawyer MojdehShahriari, the couple's lawyer, said Aminian and Bakht are pleased with the decision and happy they decided to go public so others won't have to go through what they did.

Payam Bakht and Sareh Aminian paid $15,000 to Parvaz Film to get visas to come to B.C. as temporary foreign workers. When they arrived, there were no jobs and they were asked to pay more money to keep their legal status in Canada. (CBC)

"This means that other potential foreign workers will not be subjected to the scheme that Mr. Bakht and his wife were subjected to by this Canadian company," she said.

Shahriari said she reported the case with substantial documentation to the criminal investigations branch of the Canada Border Services Agency nine months ago and couldn’t understand why the company hasn’t faced any consequences before this.

“I have been shocked in my practice with a lot of things — but this is extremely shocking to me and disturbing … because the proof was so clearly provided to [CBSA],” she said.

Parvaz Film Corporation owner Sherry Soltani and her husband, MajidMahichi, run a photo studio in Maple Ridge, B.C. They also broadcast cable TV shows in Farsi for the local Persian community.

With files from Kathy Tomlinson


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