Canada seasonal work
My heart goes out to old boy Joji Toronibau and other Fijians who have contacted me regarding seasonal work in Canada, in response to my numerous letters in this column (FS 27/8). For the record, my Recruitment License issued by the Ministry of Employment has not been renewed and I believe this is because of their allegation, that I brought a group of Fijians out here last year on a WX-1 Worker Visa without following the conditions in my Recruitment License. It is sad that the Ministry of Employment did not do its due diligence and have used my $20,000 bond deposit to get my group back to Fiji, but most of us are still here and the ministry is suddenly mum and have not responded to my emails. I have been urging the Fijian Government to try Canada as there is a lot of work available out here and not enough workers, including its seasonal work. Negotiations on a government-to-government level could lead to Fijians coming out here in numbers with open work permits.
As it is, despite the allegations by the Ministry of Employment that I have a WX-1 Worker Visa, I and the group are not allowed to work and I am currently picking blueberries because the contractors are desperate for workers and farmers want their crops harvested. The blueberry picking season is from June to September and is currently slowing down and I am urging Fijians who are able to come out this way next year, to be part of the blueberry seasonal work.
I am able to line up Fijians for blueberry picking here, but one has to first apply for a Canadian visa and one easy way is to apply to watch the Vancouver Sevens in March next year. If the Ministry of Employment has made a breakthrough by then, it should be good news for all Fijians. But if not, then Plan B is to get a Canadian visa and do blueberry picking, which will recoup all your travelling expenses in the first month, while the rest of your work time is just extra money.