City forum to explore impact of “invisible workforce” of temporary foreign workers

There are tens of thousands of workers in the City of Vancouver, visible but not seen, whose presence is due entirely to their job.

They are foreign workers, but local neighbours.

In Canada under one of the many Temporary Foreign Worker programs, these men and women from all over the world have limited or no access to immigration.

When their employer no longer needs them — or they can no longer work for whatever reason — they must go home.

What are the impacts of this reality on the city? Are these workers vulnerable to exploitation? Where do they live? What happens if they are injured or they fall ill? Do they understand BC’s safety rules? What is their impact on our economy?

The Mayor’s Working Group on Immigration, created by Mayor Gregor Robertson soon after his election, has decided to find out.

A forum May 28 at 3.30 p.m. at the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch will see the launch of a new video that explores the lives of these workers. It marks the beginning of a brief public engagement campaign to learn more about this little-understood issue.

Tickets are free, but seating is limited, so book ahead here.