Fil-Canadian businesswoman gets jail time for exploiting workers
A Filipino-Canadian businesswoman has been sentenced to two and a half years of imprisonment for exploiting some 70 foreign workers, including Filipinos, reports said.
Jennilyn Morris, 46, was also ordered to pay back the unpaid wages of 13 of her victims amounting to $22,000, according to a report on CBC News.
The report said the sentence was handed down by Court of Queen's Bench Justice Kenneth Nielsen on Friday, four months after Morris pleaded guilty to two charges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
It added Nielsen thumbed down the defense's request for a conditional discharge or house arrest for Morris, citing how her actions affected her victims who told the court how they suffered stress and depression, among others, under Morris.
One victim, Teodora Bautista, a 42-year-old single mother from the Philippines, said she experienced blackouts and once even collapsed from sheer exhaustion after being forced to work for long hours.
Others also complained of being forced to work long hours every day, and of being treated like second-class citizens.
A separate report on Edmonton Journal said Morris moved to Canada from the Philippines in 1998 as a live-in caregiver who married a Canadian and built two successful businesses, a restaurant and a company involved in commercial and residential cleaning. She was also a cancer survivor.
The CBC News report said Morris showed no expression as the sheriffs led her from the courtroom.
Edmonton Journal quoted Crown prosecutor Michelle Ferguson as saying that it’s the first time anyone in Alberta has gone to prison for exploiting foreign workers. —KBK, GMA News