Brooks shop owner says foreign worker suspension hurts businesses

The owner of a convenience store in Brooks says a lot of fast food restaurants and small shops will be in trouble if they can't hire temporary foreign workers.

Federal government put moratorium on program amid controversy over rule-breaking

The Red Basket Food Store has roughly 30 temporary foreign workers on staff and had plans to bring in over five more before the federal government suspended the foreign worker program. (Red Basket/Facebook)

The owner of a convenience store in Brooks says many fast food restaurants and small shops will be in a lot of trouble if they can't hire temporary foreign workers.

Roughly half of the staff at the Red Basket Food Store are foreign workers but the federal government's moratorium on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program has put the owner's plan to bring on five more workers on hold.

"If this program, you know, does get shut down indefinitely, there won't be any people to hire for anything," said Fred Bexte, who owns the Red Basket.

"It won't matter where you go to work, you're going to be in the same spot because you're going to be doing the work of three people because there isn't enough people to do it."

Bexte says he has tried everything he can to hire local people but there hasn't been much interest for the past three or four years.

“It does appear that there are some jobs Canadians are not interested in doing,” he told CBC's Calgary Eyeopener on Monday. “We don’t get a lot of younger Canadians applying.”

“Granted, the oilpatch sector is able to pay a whole lot more than I am,” he added. 

The federal government has stopped the foreign worker program until it can determine whether some companies are breaking the law.

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