The Alberta government has charged an employment agent in Edmonton for allegedly claiming she worked for a major engineering consultant and collecting illegal fees from foreign workers in exchange for employment in Canada.
“The Alberta government is committed to ensuring that foreign workers are treated fairly,” said Service Alberta Minister Manmeet S. Bhullar.
“We have regulations in place to protect job seekers and there are serious consequences for businesses that take advantage of people looking for work in Alberta.”
Jonalyn Gandeza has been charged with collecting prohibited fees from three victims in 2011 and 2012.
The victims allegedly paid more than $26,000 to Gandeza in the belief that their family members from the Philippines could come to work in Canada.
Gandeza is also alleged to have falsely claimed she was working for AMEC and provided false Labour Market Opinions (LMOs).
AMEC is one of the largest consulting firms in the world providing engineering and project management services to customers in the oil and gas, mining, clean energy, environment and infrastructure markets.
An LMO is an opinion provided by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), which assesses the impact that hiring temporary foreign workers may have on the Canadian labour market.
CIC uses the LMOs to decide if visas should be issued to temporary foreign workers.
Gandeza faces three counts of operating an unlicensed employment agency, three counts of charging prospective employees to help them locate employment, three counts of misleading or deceiving a consumer, and three counts of representing that her services have sponsorship, approval, or other attributes they do not.
She is scheduled for a court appearance in Edmonton provincial court on Jan. 16, 2013 and is charged under the Fair Trading Act and the Employment Agency Business Licensing Regulation.