Business owners step up to help victims of labour trafficking ring
Published Monday, February 11, 2019 6:08PM EST
Donations of clothing and personal care products started pouring in at a shop in downtown Collingwood for the 43 victims of a human labour trafficking ring.
Blue Mountain Resort confirmed on Monday that some of the victims were hired through a third party contractor to work at the resort.
James Henry, Vice President of Hospitality at the resort, says they were unaware of any alleged abuse.
“This was a very surprising incident for us, and one that concerns us deeply,” he says.
Blue Mountain has offered accommodation and employment opportunities to the foreign workers.
The Living Water Resort, which also hired the workers through the same temp agency, has also made offers to house the victims.
“We need to step up instead of asking what the government can do,” says Living Water Resort owner, Larry Law. “It’s everybody’s responsibility to be kind, to show kindness. That’s why we took this thing very seriously. Hopefully, we can turn this negative into a positive.”
A local church group is working closely with the victims to help address individual needs.
And many business owners in Collingwood say they are ready to help.
“Show them what humanity looks like in Collingwood,” says Blink Eyewear’s Jessica Strype.
Special care is being taken to protect the identity of the workers because there is some concern for the safety of their families living back in Mexico.