WINDSOR, ONT. -- The Member of Parliament for Chatham-Kent-Leamington is calling for adjustments to the federal temporary foreign workers program, a program he said is still essential to Canada’s food security.

MP Dave Epp said he also wants to see Leamington advance into Stage 2 along with the town of Kingsville.

Epp said despite the best efforts of local and regional officials, many businesses feel like hostages fighting to survive - a sentiment echoed from a small business rally held in Kingsville earlier this week.

“We can fix this. We must fix this,” Epp said in a statement. “We must safely and immediately end having the community pay the price for something they have no control over. This is not fair, and it needs to be addressed immediately. I and others continue to stand ready to find sustainable solutions for our community's greatest economic engine in the Leamington/Kingsville area. “

The Conservative MP wants to see improvements made to the temporary foreign workers program that would take away the desire to use undocumented workers and believes more discussion is needed.

Epp is imploring the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers to end the practice of having undocumented workers, noting that these jobs could be filled by Canadians looking for work during these high unemployment times.