Submission title

Temp Nation








Sara Mojtehedzadeh


This year-long investigation revealed how companies are increasingly using temp agencies to hire employees as a way to limit company liability for workplace accidents, reduce employers’ responsibility and cut costs. The series followed Star reporter Sara Mojtehedzadeh as she went undercover at one of the continent’s largest industrial bakeries, Fiera Foods. Extensive research by Ms. Mojtehedzadeh and Star reporter Brendan Kennedy revealed in intimate detail how temps—mostly new Canadians, refugees and visible minorities—are being exploited, abused, injured and even killed on the job. Workers find they have no protection because the temp agency often turns out to be a post office box or an empty store in a strip mall. The series led to tougher provincial legislation to protect temp workers, strengthen provisions to outlaw pay discrimination, and remove financial incentives for workplaces to use temps. Fiera Foods immediately committed to an independent audit of its health and safety practices, and a review of its use of temp agencies. The Toronto Star was also awarded a Citation of Merit.