Foreign Workers, Local Neighbours: A Multimedia Initiative about Temporary Foreign Workers in Vancouver

Thanks to Callista Haggis for this great introduction to the short documentary Foreign Workers, Local Neighbours, which examines the conditions and socio-economic impacts of temporary foreign workers in Vancouver, Canada. At the bottom of this post is a link to view the entire film!

In April 2011 The Mayor’s Working Group on Immigration launched a multimedia initiative to incite discussion and awareness about the socio-economic impacts of Temporary Foreign Workers in Vancouver, Canada.

The 20 minute documentary, Foreign Workers, Local Neighbours (FWLN), was one project component. It was born from a small project team (Devon Wong, Krystle Alarcon and myself), with critical input from temporary foreign worker community representatives, academic researchers, advocates and residents.

FWLN’s premier screening was at a public forum on May 28, 2011. Over 250 people showed up on this sunny Saturday afternoon. They viewed the film and engaged in a thoughtful and emotionally charged dialogue. This overwhelming response speaks to both the widespread and urgent nature of issues related to temporary foreign workers in Vancouver.

While appreciative that this was the first formal City-sponsored event to address temporary foreign workers issues at a municipal level, everyone I spoke with after the event stressed the necessity of ongoing and future efforts to amend the Temporary Foreign Workers program. As was stated by Zool Suleman, an immigration lawyer and member of the Mayor’s Working Group on Immigration: “we are at the midpoint of an ongoing conversation”.

A report with research and recommendations gathered during the multimedia initiative was recently submitted to the Mayor’s Working Group on Immigration. After review, they will make recommendations to Council and lobby to other levels of government to improve the human rights of temporary foreign workers.

For more information, please visit the project website, or view the film on Vimeo, embedded below.

Foreign Worker, Local Neighbour from TFW Vancouver on Vimeo.

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