This year's TFW Assembly got bigger and better!

The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Assembly 2023 attracted a record number of 286 participants including temporary foreign workers from various cities in Alberta, such as Calgary, Edmonton, Brooks, and Medicine Hat organized at The Kerby Centre in downtown Calgary. The event truly celebrated diversity and empowerment while there was a rich tapestry of nationalities, including Mexico, the Philippines, India, and more. The TFW Assembly, which started last year, was a full-day event that brought together TFWs from all over Alberta in collaboration with Consulates, Alberta Government, and community partners. The main focus of the event was to raise awareness and advocate for the rights and welfare of workers in Canada, especially TFWs.

This year, it was an honor to witness the attendance of Consul General of El Salvador - Juan Antonio Salamanca, Vice-Consul General of the Philippine Consulate – Vic Dimagiba and Mexican Consular representative – Monica Flores who offered their unwavering support and assistance to all temporary foreign workers. Moreover, government representatives from various organizations provided insights and guidance on pathways to permanent residency, TFW’s rights and responsibilities, the challenges & realities faced by TFW’s and how they can be addressed. Our community partners from Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA), Korean Social Services Centre (KSSC), IRERI-Mexican, Latino & Cross-Cultural Society, Cargill, Alberta Regional Council of Carpenters & Allied Workers and Ambrose University also graced the occasion to support TFW’s.

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  CCIS' TFW program staff with consular representatives, guest speakers & partner organizations

The Assembly commenced with an inspiring opening address by Hasmik Asmaryan, Director of Business Employment and Training Services (BETS) at CCIS. She warmed the stage for an enlightening and empowering experience followed by the first session that kick started with TFW Rights and Responsibilities and government support for TFWs in Alberta. Steve Holzer from Occupations Health & Safety (OHS), Raymond Ivanzus from Service Canada, Simonette Pili & Doris Segura from Temporary Foreign Worker Advisory Office (TFWAO) promoted best practices for foreign workers to safeguard their rights and elaborated a range of government support & services available to them. The second session explored options of pathways to Permanent Residency led by Jatin Shory – a reputed Immigration & Refugee Lawyer and Nataly Ore from Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP). Lastly, the third session highlighted the realities of Serving and Advocating for TFW’s through a round table discussion where the speakers Zoe Lambert from the Worker Resource Centre, Marco Luciano from Migrante Alberta and Harry Dominguez Barbosa from CCIS talked about labor rights violations, limited resources available to TFW’s and advocated for measures to fill gaps in policies for TFW’s.

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      Jatin Shory presenting pathways to permanent residency to temporary foreign workers

Each session was followed by a Q&A round moderated by Jessica Juen, TFW Program Manager at CCIS where the speakers were delighted to address the concerns of the participants. The foreign workers were able to freely raise questions about reporting employment abuse, unsafe practices at workplace, complex legal and immigration process and more anonymously and received useful directions and responses from expert speakers.

IMG 7961   Jessica Juen engaging with the speakers during panel discussion

Building upon the success of last year, an ongoing pro bono Legal Clinic offered 71 TFWs the opportunity to seek legal advice and guidance. Four dedicated lawyers – Jatin Shory, Rowan Fisher, Navi Dhaliwal, Emmanual Abellera were on hand to address concerns and provide guidance on workers' rights. The participants were content with one-on-one consultation with lawyers, an opportunity not to be missed to navigate complex immigration and legal system. The consular representatives and community partners offered their services for the temporary foreign workers during the afternoon session.

IMG 8497Vice-Consul General of the Philippine Consulate – Vic Dimagiba addressing to the participants

IMG 8551Jessica Juen with Consul General of El Salvador - Juan Antonio Salamanca

The event was concluded with volunteer appreciation by expressing heartfelt gratitude to the 25 selfless volunteers - our TFW clients - who dedicated their time and resources to make the assembly successful – we cannot imagine how the event would have been like without them. Their unwavering support exemplified the power of unity and solidarity. All the participants were happy to be a part of this gathering and glad to receive all the useful information and knowledge during the sessions. While one of the participants wished to have an Assembly every six months, another participant quoted “This event to me is like a reality dream come true it shows how supportive is this organization to the foreign workers and others”. The TFW Assembly 2023 left a lasting impact on all who attended. It celebrated diversity, provided valuable knowledge, and fostered a strong sense of community.

Let’s continue to empower and uplift the TFW community, shaping a brighter future for all.

IMG 8302Our dedicated volunteers in action during the event

#TFWAssembly2023 #TFWAdvocacy #TFW #Alberta #workersrights #ccis #ccisab

CCIS’ TFW Program initiated its first steps in 2008 with the support of the Government of Alberta. Now, it provides support to all temporary foreign workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, in partnership with service providers through the support of Employment and Social Development Canada. To connect TFWs for support please call 1-888-331-1110 or email , or visit TFW Hub at for finding what we do and which partner organizations you can reach out to. 

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