Skilled Filipino workers packed into filthy house, denied pay, threatened with deportation
August 30, 2008 - The Toronto Star
It was 5:30 in the morning when Edwin Canilang realized he had been bought and sold.
Crowded in the back of a van heading north of Toronto with four other Filipino men last summer, the skilled welder faced another unpaid day on a cleanup detail at a bottling plant.
He thought of his wife, who had just given birth to their third child back home in San Carlos, a five-hour drive north of Manila.
He thought of the promises that lured him to Canada – $23 an hour, plus overtime, food and lodging, to help build two icebreakers for the Canadian Arctic.
He thought of his first week in Canada, eight men in the basement of a Toronto house sleeping four to a bed, their passports taken from them. Then they were trucked north to their new home – a filthy, abandoned farmhouse in the middle of nowhere.