Thursday, November 20, 2014

“The federal government must stop toying with migrant workers’ hopes and dreams, and extend permanent residency on arrival to newcomers arriving to do caring work in Canada,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Right now, Live-in Caregivers have to put up with low wages, isolation, and sometimes dangerous working conditions for 2 years before they can apply for the right to stay in Canada.

Removing this pathway to permanent residency and requiring caregivers to apply through the Express Entry program will dramatically reduce the number of caregivers who gain access to permanent status in Canada.

In a positive step, Ministers Chris Alexander and Jason Kenney announced that caregivers will no longer be forced to live in the homes of their employers. “We’ve been urging the government for years to end the live-in requirement, and the exploitation and abuse that too often goes along with it,” Yussuff said. “But making it harder to achieve permanent status is a huge step in the wrong direction.”

The government is proposing to create two new streams, one for child care providers, and one for caregivers for people with significant medical needs. Principal applicants to each stream will be capped initially at 2,750 each year, but the government refuses to reveal its plans for permanent residency until November 30th.

Currently, live-in caregivers are also unable to access education and training opportunities to maintain and enhance their skills and professional qualifications. The CLC calls on the government to ensure migrant caregivers’ access to training in early childhood education, personal support work courses, and health-care aide programs so that caregivers can upgrade their skills.