Temporary Filipino worker gets reprieve

Renaldo Verdeflor gets one more month of Yukon summer before his exclusion hearing in Whitehorse.

Renaldo Verdeflor gets one more month of Yukon summer before his exclusion hearing in Whitehorse.

The temporary Filipino worker’s hearing was postponed Wednesday after Yukon Federation of Labour president Alex Furlong requested a reprieve.

This spring, border services discovered Verdeflor working illegally in Whitehorse.

Verdeflor claimed his job in Alberta laid him off, and offered him a free flight home. But he wanted to continue working in Canada, and found a job in Whitehorse.

He explained the situation to his employer, Chocolate Claim manager Glenys Baltimore, and asked that she sponsor him under the Yukon Nominee Program, he said in a previous interview with the News.

But after six weeks, Verdeflor’s application remained in limbo. As well, Baltimore withheld his pay and threatened to report him to border services if he complained, he said.

Then, she returned his Yukon nominee application, which was blank.

Verdeflor had found another job and was about to enter the nominee process again when border services’ agents arrested him.

They carried the missing Chocolate Claim paycheque. It was short hours, said Verdeflor.

“He was paid in full and as quickly as possible,” said Baltimore, the Chocolate Claim’s owner, challenging Verdeflor’s version of events in a previous News interview.

He arrived at the shop claiming to have a valid work permit, she said. And because he had a valid social insurance number, she believed him.

Baltimore was preparing his nominee documents and discovered he lacked a valid work permit, she said.

He’d worked less than a month.

“Had I known that he did not have a valid work permit, I would not have allowed him to work,” she said.

Baltimore suspended him until the work permit was straightened out.

“He insisted on being paid and I didn’t know whether I could legally pay him or not, because he was working without a permit,” she said.

Then, Baltimore asked the Canadian Border Services Agency what to do, and the agency tracked him down working illegally at another business.

“At that point he’d been told very clearly by me that he did not have a valid work permit and he chose to work somewhere else anyway,” she said.

“So, to me, it’s fairly clear that he knew it was illegal.”

Verdeflor’s hearing has been postponed at least a month.

He was denied legal aid.

But Furlong has agreed to represent him.

Francis Dura, a second Filipino worker charged with violating his work permit, had his hearing in Whitehorse on Monday.

He was represented by legal aid lawyer Karen Wenckebach.

Dura was found guilty, and was

issued an exclusion order, forcing him to leave Canada for at least a year.

But Furlong is lobbying Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to set aside Dura’s deportation order.

Contact Genesee Keevil at

gkeevil@yukon-news.com

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