A Tim Hortons franchise on Opaskwayak Cree Nation in central Manitoba desperately needs workers and is looking to the Philippines to fill the demand.

But the coffee giant's effort is being criticized by the chief of the First Nations community near The Pas, who says the company should try harder to train local people.

'They should help the regions where they're raking in the money from.' — Chief Glen Ross

"They should help the regions where they're raking in the money from, you know?" said Chief Glen Ross, who described unemployment rates in the area as "skyrocket high."

"I just can't understand why Tim Hortons would be doing that. They should figure more on training people and spending some money on getting those people lined up on the weekends, instead of spending tons to ship people here from wherever."

David Morelli, a spokesperson with Tim Hortons, said the company hasn't been able to find and keep local reliable help for night and weekend shifts.

While they are not giving up on hiring locals, the company believes the workers from the Philippines can soon alleviate some of the load on current staff, who are handling an extremely busy store, Morelli said.

From early morning on, the coffee shop has endless line-ups of people inside and cars in the drive-thru. The store hopes that about six Philippine workers would start in the summer.

"We work with the federal government to ensure we're abiding by labour laws and working with them to ensure that we've met all the criteria in order to make this application to seek foreign worker help," said Morelli.