On Saturday, June 23rd, New Democratic Party (NDP) Immigration critic Jinny Sims met with caregivers and advocates in a townhall meeting in Toronto.
We would like to sincerely thank Currents & Breaking News and TheGotchaJournalist for documenting this meeting as we were unable to attend. Please make sure to view these links; all videos are taken by and remain property of them.
Suffice to say that this was a very emotional display by caregivers in Toronto who were brave enough to tell their heart-wrenching stories.
On June 23rd, NDP Immigration critic Jinny Sims will be meeting to discuss the Live-In Caregiver program.
The meeting will take place at the Toronto Public Library at 40 Orchard View Boulevard, room 224 in the Northern district. It will run from 12pm to 2pm.
Please view the poster below and take this time to voice your concerns regarding the Live-In Caregiver program and your experiences!
Earlier today, CBC News broke the story that Citizenship and Immigration Canada will be closing the consulate in Buffalo, which has largely been used as the office where visitors processed their applications for VISAs and permits. This required the applicants to also travel to Buffalo for their interviews. We have been told that all applications and interviews will now be processed within Canada at a local CIC office. This is great news for applicants but, as the consulate was recently renovated and renewed a 10 year lease, there is an estimate that Canadian taxpayers will be footing the $8 million bill for rent in the abandoned consulate.
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.
In late 2011, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced that over 14,000 open work permits would be issued to live-in caregivers who had been waiting upwards of 18 months after applying for their Permanent Residence. At first, he was applauded by nannies who were appreciative of the ability to exit their live-in jobs to work on a live-out basis. Unfortunately, this has resulted in an over saturation of the live-out market which is very sparse of jobs to begin with. At our agency, we see anywhere from 20 to 30 live out nannies at our office each week and unfortunately turn 95% of them away due to the fact that, without a drivers license, there is absolutely no market for them. Many are turning back to the live-in market which is making employers happy but delays caregivers’ independence.
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.
Globe & Mail editorial – Published November 7, 2011
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s plan to accept 10,000 more skilled workers into Canada next year is a sound one, and so is the government’s overall target of 255,000 newcomers. Some other changes make less sense, and may be motivated by politics, more than economics.
Mr. Kenney acknowledged that the seven-year backlog to sponsor grandparents and parents has become unmanageable, and announced a two-year moratorium on applications. In the meantime, however, he will increase the quota by 10,000 over two years, to 25,000, and introduce a two-year multiple-entry visitor’s visa for these family members.
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.
So you have finished your 24 months, waited through the terribly long processing times for your open permits or Permanent Residence and you’re looking for a live-out job. Alternatively, you may be a newcomer live-in caregiver or nearing the end of your program looking ahead to working on a live-out basis. What can you do to prepare yourself to secure the best possible live-out caregiver position? Check out our top five transitional steps to take before moving to this market.