AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A state task force is investigating whether logging operations in northern Maine are violating laws when they hire Canadian contractors.

The task force, announced Tuesday by Gov. John Baldacci, will look into whether employers are complying with the federal certification process for foreign laborers, and whether Maine workers have an adequate opportunity to apply for those jobs. It’ll also look for potential violations of a state law requiring that employers own heavy equipment used by foreign laborers.

State Sen. Troy Jackson, a logger from Allagash, tells the Bangor Daily News that Canadian firms have turned away Maine workers before hiring Canadian crews that bring in their own equipment.

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