Members of Moncton's Filipino community are uneasy after a recent crackdown on temporary foreign workers.

The federal government is making it more difficult and more expensive for companies to turn to foreign workers to fill job vacancies in Canada.

A number of changes to the temporary foreign worker program were announced in April which the government says are designed to ensure Canadians get first crack at available jobs.


Franz Fabroa came to Moncton from the Philippines nearly two years ago to work at Subway and is now hoping to become a permanent resident. (Tori Weldon / CBC)

At a celebration of Asian culture at Moncton city hall on Monday, Franz Fabroa said he feels threatened.

He moved to Moncton from the Philippines nearly two years ago to work at a Subway restaurant under the temporary foreign worker program.

"At first I didn't decide yet if I was staying here for long," Fabroa said. "But most of the people are really nice and after I decided to stay here for good, I want to become a resident here."

Fabroa said he is concerned about the changes Ottawa is making.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said last week that the temporary foreign worker program was intended to fill jobs on a temporary basis and was never meant to displace Canadian workers.

Betty De Asis is an active member of the Moncton Filipino Association.

She said Fabroa and many other temporary workers are nervous about what the changes will mean for their futures in Canada.

De Asis believes the federal government should be focusing on employers who aren't following the rules, rather than foreign workers.

"Maybe we can go and impose strict penalty to the employer if they don't follow whatever they have in the contract, to regulate recruiters, not the foreign workers."

De Asis said she believes the federal government is right to protect the interests of Canadian workers, but said temporary foreign workers also have a lot at stake.

She's urging Ottawa to be fair to workers who have only been in Canada for a short time.

"These people come here, they spend a lot of money, or borrow money from the bank, some people even mortgage their property back home just to work, so giving them a short time of working here — they can't even go pay off their debt back home."

Fabroa said he plans to apply for permanent residency later this year.

He has just renewed his contract with Subway, this time as a supervisor.