HALIFAX — A prosecutor says a Halifax businessman exploited foreign workers from the Philippines with promises of the “Canadian dream.”Hector Mantolino, originally from the Philippines, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to misrepresentation under provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.The owner and operator of several cleaning and maintenance companies used the temporary foreign worker program to staff his companies, bringing 28 workers to Canada from the Philippines over a number of years.Crown lawyer Timothy McLaughlin told Mantolino’s sentencing hearing today that the total difference between the official salaries and the amounts actually paid to the workers was no less than $500,000.He told Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Glen McDougall that he took advantage of the workers because they knew Canada could provide them a better life, and “that dream was sold” to them by Mantolino.The Crown is recommending a sentence of two years in prison.Some workers who read victim impact statements say they were underpaid and worked long hours, remaining quiet for fear of being deported back to the Southeast Asian country.But others remain supportive of Mantolino, saying he helped them and improved their lives for the better.The Canadian Press
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