The end of the road may unfortunately be in sight for 18 United Kingdom transit operators working in Calgary.

The temporary foreign workers came here two years ago as part of a temporary skilled workers program, but now their work permits are up and Mayor Dave Bronconnier and Calgary Transit want the transit operators to stay.

“It costs money to train new employees and we have fully capable experienced workers now.

We need them, we don’t want to send them packing,” Bronconnier said.

Bronconnier is pushing the province to change its stance, but Thomas Lukaszuk, the Alberta minister for employment and immigration, told QR77 news the province employs Albertans first, Canadians second and then other people from abroad, but Bronconnier disagrees.

“We still need these drivers and in the future we will need even more as the city continues to grow,” Bronconnier said.

“Imagine packing your family up and moving them across the ocean and then having to pack them up again and return home two years later. It’s unfortunate.”

Transit spokesperson Ron Collins acknowledges the market has changed but would also like to see the workers stay in Calgary.

“It was a great program and we would love for them to stay,” he said.

Calgary also recruited about 180 other workers in other fields including mechanics, police officers and city planners but their contracts are not affected.