From the Toronto Globe and Mail:
Immigration consultants and trucking firms with sketchy safety records have found ways to exploit foreign job seekers, sometimes with tragic results when unprepared drivers are sent out on the road, a Globe investigation finds
KATHY TOMLINSON, PUBLISHED OCTOBER 5, 2019
Mahan Singh remembers feeling terrified he would lose control on an icy highway and kill someone.
His new employer had sent the 26-year-old rookie driver out to navigate a semi-trailer through treacherous mountain passes. “There was no training,” says Mr. Singh, who had been in Canada as a visitor for just a few months when he got his first job here under a temporary work permit. “I was scared. I didn’t have any idea it would be like this.”
Mr. Singh, who comes from Amritsar, in northwestern India, had never experienced ice or snow. He’d never considered being a truck driver, either, but Canadian immigration consultants told him that getting experience in trucking could help him qualify for permanent residency. So, a year ago, he got a licence and found a company to work for in Surrey, B.C.
Mr. Singh says he had to give $10,000 in cash to GLT Transportation just to get hired, then put up with perilous working conditions for weeks on end. “I had two minor accidents in the first four months,” he says. “In my six-month driving period, I only was in Surrey eight to 10 days. Always, we sleep on the road.”
He has since found a better employer, but he is still appalled that a country like Canada allows reckless trucking companies to send nervous, unprepared newcomers like him out on the highway. “Everything is supposed to be by the rules in Canada,” he says, “but then, when I start work, I find out there are no rules.”