We came across this really powerful and revealing article from CaregiversOnline.org that describes the process under which an overseas caregiver gave money to a local Toronto agency for recruitment to Canada. As most in the local industry should know, but those outside may not, caregivers cannot pay anything for recruitment to Canada and the laws are even tougher in Ontario with the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act (EPFNA). This article serves as a strong case for regulation of caregiver agencies, which we support along with the Association of Caregiver and Nanny Agencies Canada (ACNA). Agencies who have nothing to hide should be willing to be regulated in order to provide a community in which caregivers and families can trust the companies they are working with. Sadly, for the male caregiver in this story, circumstances become much more difficult due to the overwhelming preference for female nannies and caregivers. It’s unfortunate that his fellow country-person deceived him, took his money and didn’t hold up their end of the bargain even though they were operating illegally.
It’s been a few months since our last posting – what can we say, life gets busy sometimes – but we wanted to post this article that was originally published in the Toronto Star.
TorontoLiveInCare.com’s Sharon Taylor was interviewed for the article which explores “nanny poaching” that is occurring in Toronto. Unfortunately, 3 months after the article has been posted, we are still hearing the same stories as the market of locally available live-in caregivers continues to dwindle.
Published December 7, 2011 in Embassy Magazine
By Manuela Gruber Hersch, ACNA Canada
Canada’s live-in caregiver program has been successful for decades. However, changes in April 2010 designed to protect foreign caregivers and a decreased quota of permanent residence applications for 2012 have many in the industry concerned about the program’s future.
By Tobi Cohen, Postmedia News, November 10, 2011
OTTAWA — Immigrants admitted through the government’s foreign live-in caregiver stream say they’ve been duped by the immigration minister, who touted the program’s success and certain growth prior to the May election, only to claw back on the number targeted for permanent residency next year.
Although the government maintains 98 per cent of live-in caregivers eventually become permanent residents, last week Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said fewer people were qualifying for the program, adding that it was one of two streams poised to take a hit in 2012 as the government freezes overall immigration while boosting certain economic streams.
It’s a far different tune than the one Kenney was singing last year.
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 April 2010, the entire Live-In Caregiver industry was turned upside down and the federal immigration program was rendered almost unrecognizable. There is no question that abuses of the LCP were widespread and rampant, and that changes were needed. However, what happened next seemed to be a knee-jerk reaction; all of the onus was shifted to the employer and caregivers were now going to be provided better work environments, faster processing and increased protection under the program.
1 1/2 years later, we are taking a look back and discussing ways to move forward for actual protection because, let’s face it.. we are worse off than we were before. Double the processing times, on average, for caregivers and families in regards to LMOs, work permits, initial PR assessment (open work permits), final Permanent Residency and family reunification. Abusive agencies and families moving to a “black market” unscrupulous industry. Worse than that, the Conservative Immigration Minister has been silent on the issue after rallying the Filipino Canadian community to provide overwhelming support for his party in the last Federal election.
Today we met with a foreign Live-In Caregiver who has been put through the ringer and her story is shocking and shows exactly why agencies need to be regulated and enforcement needs to be taken seriously. We’d like to share her story with you.
ACNA Canada tipped us off to a very well written blog called An Uncomplicated Mind which, in this article by Joe Rivera, describes the thoughts of a community that has been taken for a ride by our government and has really been made to look foolish. Minister Kenney made a lot of people act in a particularly naive way after vowing to fight for their rights. But the honeymoon is over and this excerpt from the original posting outlines that very clearly..
On June 30, 2011, Bill-C35 was enacted to govern third party representatives involved in the paperwork process of hiring foreign workers in Canada. This affects the Live-In Caregiver Program. For more information, please read the following Frequently Asked Questions page from Citizenship and Immigration:
By TOM GODFREY, TORONTO SUN
Canada’s nanny program is being used as a loophole to get into the country, an industry group says.
“There is no obligation for nannies to work for the family,” said Manuela Gruber Hersch, president of the Association of Caregivers and Nanny Agencies Canada, a group that works with nannies and sponsors.
Gruber Hersch said she worked on a case three months ago in which a nanny called her sponsor in Grande Praire, Alta. after arriving at Calgary International Airport to tell them she wasn’t showing up for work.
ACNA Canada Announces Canada Wide 24 hour toll Free C.A.R.E. L.I.N.E. for Caregivers and Employers @ 1.888.560.5510
-Concern for each caregiver & family
-Assistance with general inquiries
-Respect for privacy
-Empowerment through realistic advice
-Learn your legal rights
-No to abuse and exploitation
-Enhance your skills