Edmonton: Empire Drywall fined for hiring illegal immigrants

Edmonton company fined for foreign workers
CBC News
Posted: Oct 25, 2011 2:50 PM MT Last Updated: Oct 25, 2011 2:41 PM MT
An Edmonton company was fined for hiring foreign workers without authorization, according to the Canada Border Services Agency.

Empire Drywall pleaded guilty Tuesday in Edmonton Provincial Court to four counts of employing temporary foreign workers lacking proper authorization.

They were fined $9,000 for each count, totaling $36,000.

The Canada Border Services Agency — responsible for investigating people in violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act — launched an investigation on the Empire Drywall in Sept. 2008.

This was the biggest imposed fine in the province since 2006.

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  • James

    How does this pathetic fine punish Empire?

    The company is decades old. Barry is second generation of the firm. The Sun reports that his defense lawyer called Barry ‘inexperience’ and naive’. That’s a joke!

    This fine neither punishes or serves as a deterrent

  • Brandon

    Everyone judges this because it went to court. He owned up to it 100% and never denied it. Did not treat the workers another way and paid them fairly. The workers were well aware they were not hired legally but needed work. He provided work for them regardless of the situation

    He was happy he found workers finally and they were happy they could actually find work and make a few bucks

    Really…. That horrible?

    If you had to provide for your family and the ony work you could get was through a company like this and the boss was willing to take a risk on you…. Would you deny it because u knew technically its illegal?

    • m

      A company like Empire basically screwed canadians out of a job.. Not fair on any platform…

    • saveourcountry

      The boss was willing to commit fraud and steal from Canadians ? thats what you said.

  • Williams

    If you had to provide for your family……” blah, blah, blah.

    Please… spare us without all these sentimental platitudes before I break down and cry my eyes out.

    And, what part of “illegal worker” don’t you understand?

  • Aaron

    US immigration laws and restrictions have already proven that immigrant labor doesn’t take jobs away from native born citizens., they are happy to do work that we are to lazy to do ourselves. Not to mention the quality and inconsistency of the spoiled Alberta bred. The only reason anyone would be leaving negative comments in regards to this story is your a competitor of Empire or one of the previously mentioned lazy spoiled Albertans. Barry is not second generation his wife is and this was their first attempt to bring in foreign labor, I’m proud to say I know him and his family. His intentions were good willed. I would hope that anyone that has visited a war torn 3rd world country like Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras or other would appreciate these efforts for what they truly were. Good on you Barry for taking responsibility for your actions. We have all made mistakes, hopefully the words of 1 or 2 former disgruntled drywallers doesn’t over shadow the achievements of an outstanding family run business. Get those boys some green cards!!

    As for “blah blah blah” total ignorance is truly bliss.

    I’m a former employee, and recall the immigrant labor coming to Canada, I’m positive that they originally did have the proper paper work that probably expired. Before you pass judgement check the real facts. It’s too easy to slander someone’s good name on the Internet.

    However the law is the law and 36,000 dollars is a lot of money to anyone to throw away. The punishment reflects the crime and then some. Who gets that money? It should be used to ensure that businesses are properly educated on immigrant labor laws.

    • saveourcountry

      one of the previously mentioned lazy spoiled Albertans “” I DONT BELIEVE YOU JUST SAID THAT. i hope we never meet. and, I hope your not one of US. go back to where you came.. you hate Albertans. So your an enemy.

      • FourFooted_Messiah

        This idiot never met my husband, the White Janitor, who has a hard time finding work coz people want to think that no white man wants to be a professional janitor. And yeah, we live in Alberta. I am dismayed to find this PC pro-immigrant crapola pushed foward here instead of just in Pakitario or Chancouver.

  • Hans Schneider

    if Canada would keep illegals out of the country then firms could not hire them.

    • saveourcountry

      IF the Canadian gov’t wasn’t the problem here i dont know what is. WE NEED TO HAVE BABIES.. then think 20 years down the road. On the path we are on presently…. no wonder we have so many immigrants from ‘backwards’ countries.. to support the child base and the tax base…. . MEANWHILE… Canadians and specifically Albertans work to pay tax and live……. NOT HAVE KIDS….. univisity education? are you serious? ….

      • FourFooted_Messiah

        the idea of unbounded growth is a myth spread by multinationals. If we really want a stable country with good social services, we do not need unfettered growth through immigration – we need to keep a small but stable society. We would have been better off if our population had stayed at 26 million (when healthcare was good) than letting it get to what it is now (32 million plus, with third worlders straining the system becuase of their stupid problems realting to not being able to constrain their sexual selves from getting AIDS, which they think is a myth.)

  • http://www.ceilingmaster.biz Jeff Childs

    There’s always 3 sides to any story.
    His, their’s, and what took place.

    Bottem line Barry man’ed up. Didn’t try to drag out some court case, but took his lumps for mistakes made.

    I’ve worked for Empire, still sub from them when I’m working out of my West coast office. I personally have NEVER had a problem with Barry, Dave, Alex or any of their staff.
    When I had a problem, we talked it out. Like professionals.
    Same way Barry handeled this.
    Like the pro he is.

    Some guy’s have or had nothing but problems, sometimes it was self induced, and prefer to refer to them in a negative light.
    Each to their own.

    • saveourcountry

      try again . problems? are you a taper? any time i had to talk like a PROFESSIONAL i found that they are UN PROFESSIONAL and really dont listen to the little guy. instead.. they only listen to one thing. SILENCE from the new guy cuz he dont know how badly hes being set up to lose.

  • jason

    empire is the best scew everyone else

  • Rick

    I know this is outa date but as a former tradesman for empire and a canadian have lost several contracts to mexican immigrants. It actually has now put me out of work twice with the company in the fall of 2008 during this crap happening and this fall as well. Now im a canadian fighting to put food on my kids table and to keep a roof over their head. Im not a racist man but tell me this. They have to prove that there are no canadians to hire before they can hire out of country. How come i got pushed out of the company? Ill tell you why. Big companies are getting cheaper and cheaper and if it means putting a canadian family on the street to save a buck because out of country people are paid less than we are. Empire is over run with mexicans. Alot of their service men, shop workers etc are mexicans and ive even seen them send out their shop personel at their hourly wage to do contracts as hourly theyll save more than paying out the contract price to a tradesman. Everyone wonders why albertans are having issues finding work or holding onto their job and being ripped off via pocket and bank account, its because of foreigners coming in and working for substantially less than what we are paid. So therefore we are now obsolete. Its just another form of corporate control. We now have to work longer hours to make ends meet and now have less time with family and friends as a result of it all.

    • FourFooted_Messiah

      As an Albertan, yeah. that crap from Ontario has spread here. Get rid of the immigfrants, period, and spend the money on training Canadians for jobs. F the immigrants, cut them off completely.

  • Joanne

    You say foreign workers cost substantially less? Where are you getting this information from? The government mandates their pay and trust me, it is significantly higher than you think… More than the going rate. The truth is, these foreign workers are good people… With families to support, just like you. The only difference is what country they were born in. They work twice as hard as everyone else because if they don’t, back to Mexico they go…
    I’m tired of reading all these lies about Empire; they are a good business, a family business who treats their staff like family too. Ask anyone who works there, you can’t buy loyalty it is earneD

    • FourFooted_Messiah

      You are obviously a Leftist shill. go to the US if you want cheaipie foreign labour. Go ruin another country with your crap ideas, leave Canada alone, we have enough to do with repairing the damage your lot caused already.

      HEAD TAXES FOR ALL THIRD WORLDERS!

  • saveourcountry

    The going rate for a REAL JOURNEYMAN is 60+ per hour. I have spent 10 years LEARNING this trade and paying respect to the men and women who are sacrificing their time and lives to work as TAPERS. Gaining TRUST and LOYALTY from businesses like Empire only to be “low-balled” is commonplace – many companies do it and the lower they go the lower the quality of worker gets.. UNTIL NO ONE WANTS TO WORK IN THIS INDUSTRY. That guy up top is right.

    To undervalue real Canadian skilled labour and then SUBSIDIZE foreign workers is insulting and provokes anger. Foreign workers owe nothing to the Canadian system. They just take because they don’t have much time at the trough. They are not pressured to work like we do, pay bills like we do, or think of our futures such as education 20 years down the road or healthcare like we do. We pay 25% more in taxes than USA, we spend more than USA by 25% and our Education and Health is supposedly better.. They get THAT and ALL THE REST – TAX free, and no debt with all the credit available. Sounds like its BETTER to NOT BE CANADIAN.

    They still have to live in our system and IF THEY DONT TAKE WORK AWAY FROM ALBERTANS THEN THEY ARE SENT BACK.

    PAY ALBERTANS MORE FOR BEING LOYAL TO ALBERTA. Being born into a caste system – like INDIA – makes sense if your a tradesman. Means you have been taught over generations. To take this away from men and women in Canada and devalue their skillsets and quality is a Canadian horror story that just won’t end. Canada was built on immigrant labour.. but did they sacrifice the English and the French systems in place? NOT ONE BIT. But thats whats happening in Canada, Alberta right now.

    I will hire cheap labour and hire them out at 60 per hour but Im not paying them more than 15-20 per hour.. WhAT DO THEY KNOW? AND WHY SHOULD I SUPPORT THOSE WHO DONT SUPPORT ALBERTA ?

    Think about it. Make empire rich by taking away from legitimate Albertans. 36,000 fine? He made more than that in 1 month by QUICK PAYS…. which are payments before the PAY PERIOD with a 10% ” ADMINISTRATION FEE ” .. its all not recorded and i bet the FOREIGN worker as well as the Canadian worker paid the tax, NOT EMPIRE….. can u say fraudulent?

    IF WE HAD TICKETS IN TAPING WE WOULDNT HIRE FOREIGN LABOUR BECAUSE THEY COULDNT GET INTO NAIT. PERIOD. im tired of the CON ARTISTS.

  • bruce

    as subcontractors our wage is defined by the laws of supply and demand. the only way we get a raise is by the scarcity of workers compared withe the amount of work . no work less money. when companies bring in temporary foreign workers it influences the laws of supply and demand. barry did not make a mistake he knew what he was doing. more workers lower wage more money for the company. he did not just lower wages for empire workers but for the industry as a whole. 35000 fine was not enough. how much money did barry make? add another 0 or more. hes a business man and anybody in business uses every rule in the book to make money and sometimes bends the rules. their not his rules. you wand to complain, phone the govt or better phone people like dave rutherford because he does not believe stuff like this happens. 18005637770 that is rutherfords number complaining on here will get you nowhere. do something that can make a difference. dave talks about these poor companies that cant find workers all the time. let him know that the tfw program should be shut down