As a Member of Parliament and a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, I hung my head in shame and remorse today as I read of the manner in which this administration has turned its back against Trinidadian farm workers stranded in Canada.
This Government’s sluggish, impersonal and bureaucratic mistreatment of these stranded Trinidadian workers is a cause of international embarrassment to Trinidad and Tobago.
This wicked, contemptuous Government attempts daily to deceive Trinidadians into believing that they are concerned about the plight of workers, yet their track record speaks otherwise. Even after admonishing nationals to seek employment in Canada, these workers were abandoned by this unpatriotic, third world approach by the Prime Minister and Minister of Labour.
I demand to know from the Minister of Labour whether he has been in touch with the Labour attaché with the High Commission in Ottawa regarding the welfare of these workers. I also demand to know what arrangements this Government has made for any financial assistance and for their return home.
The Minister of Labour must also reveal whether he made any representation to the Minister of National Security regarding the granting of exemptions to these workers. It is obvious that the Minister has failed to do such, leaving these workers to fend for themselves in the Canadian cold.
I wholeheartedly thank the Government of Canada for their intervention in this matter towards enduring the extension of work permits and other forms of intervention for these farm workers.
This incident reminds us of the heroic intervention of the Barbadian Government earlier this year, when they assisted Trinidadian nationals heartlessly shut out of their country by this brutal PNM administration.
In these challenging economic times, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley and his Minister of Labour have failed repeatedly to protect the interest of Trinidadian workers, home and abroad.
We are calling on the Minister of National Security to expedite diplomatic assistance to these stranded workers, so that they can come home to their families.
We are calling on the Prime Minister and the Government to cease their vindictiveness in repatriating stranded citizens abroad and to govern for all citizens of this country, and not just those who they chose.