To those in the industry, the confirmation that there are less people entering the Live-In Caregiver program is not a surprise, but Immigration Minister Jason Kenney disclosed this information in an article recently posted here on Canada.com.
The government also is expecting a decline in the number of people who come to Canada as part of the live-in caregiver program “because fewer people are qualifying,” he said.
The overall point of the article is to stress the positive moves the Conservative government is making to shape the type of immigrants that Canada welcomes. However, we are still seeing a vital, urgent and necessary need for child care solutions in Canada ignored.
In fact, we’ve found that families are being denied access to sponsorship for trivial reasons and are generally being given the run-around by Service Canada.
One thing for sure is that the demand for Live-In Caregivers has not decreased. Agencies represented by the Association of Caregiver and Nanny Agencies Canada (ACNA) still report that the demand is far outweighing the supply of locally available candidates. Overseas sponsorship is becoming even less of an option to fill the lack of labour already in Canada because of timelines that typically double the posted processing times on Citizenship and Immigration’s website.
It can also be argued that maybe caregiver from outside of the country are choosing other places to go in the world because of the dysfunctional nature of the Canadian Live-In Caregiver program. Once finished a 24 month program (required to be completed within 48 months), there are currently 36 months of processing to finalize Permanent Residency, and even more time if they are sponsoring family members. You read that right: it takes 3 years of processing after completing a two year program here.
Despite backlash from caregiver groups and advocated, culminating in a large meeting in Mississauga, Ontario earlier this year, the government has broken promises and ignored the community it relied upon for support in the last Federal election.
Canadian families feel they are also being ignored when the need for these caregivers is absolutely crucial and their government representatives are doing nothing to ensure that supply meets the demand.