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No recourse for scammed mussel farmer

CANADA - A Prince Edward Island mussel grower who took part in the federal government's foreign-worker program was burned to the tune of more than $50,000.

A House of Commons committee sitting in Fredericton on Tuesday told Stephen Stewart, owner of the Stewart Mussel Farms Inc. in Borden, P.E.I., he has no recourse to recover any of his money, but the committee will make recommendations to Parliament.

Stewart told a House of Commons standing committee on citizenship and immigration hearings that loopholes in immigration laws should be closed so employers can enforce contracts with foreign workers.

In May 2006, Stewart, the vice-president of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance and owner of one of North America's largest producers of cultured mussels, hired 11 workers from Sri Lanka through a private third party to work at his plant in Borden.

He told the committee it cost him more than $20,000 in return airfare for the workers, $20,000 for accommodations, the cost of a 12-seat van to provide transportation in and around Borden and other incidentals in accordance with federal rules designed to accommodate foreign workers.

Source: TheDailyGleaner