TFW Left Quadriplegic Struggles for Equal Rights and Welfare

Urgent announcement from our friends at Migrante Alberta:

Edmonton, Alberta- Vicky Venacio, is a 29 yrs.old Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) from Philippines. She is the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Venacio that lives in a remote-rural area back home. She arrived in Canada in 2011 and became a food counter attendant. According to Vicky’s co-workers, she is very admirable and hardworking and within four months, she was promoted into Team Leader position and afterwards, into managerial position.

On the way to work for completing a managerial training in 2012, Vicky was riding a bicycle and she was struck by a car. Vicky didn’t even recognize the face of the driver nor the plate number of the car. The next thing she knew she was in a hospital diagnosed as quadriplegic and the doctor told Vicky that she can no longer walk.

With the support of her friends and the Filipino community, Vicky was able to revive her strength to face these challenges. She also felt sad that she cannot tell her family back home about what happened to her. Her mom is suffering from liver disease and her dad with tuberculosis that needs sustainable medication which also means that her parents are relying on her. Since the accident, she has not been able to support her family back home.

Knowing that she has financial responsibility to her parents even after what happened to her, she still wants to stay and work here in Canada. It will also be a lot easier to go around the city because of wheelchair accessibility. The lack of access to medical care in the Philippines will make it more difficult for Vicky.

Vicky wants to stay permanently because of the support she felt and she wants to give back to the community after pursuing her studies in Social Work.

Being part of Canada’s Economic Plan, the TFWP’s employers and workers significantly contribute to the Canadian economy. The temporary workers equally put in their hard work along with the local workers thus they deserve the same rights and welfare. They ought to be paid proper hourly rate, overtime pay and medical benefits just like any other local worker. Instead, most of them enter a revolving door of exploitation under this the program. Due to their precarious status that is employer-specific, most of them put up with abusive situation so as not to jeopardize their path to permanent residency.

The jobs that foreign workers fill are not temporary and the TFWP is a temporary solution to Canada’s economic problem. Foreign workers deserve the same rights and welfare, same benefits as local workers and should be granted permanent residency upon arrival. Every worker that is Good Enough to Work are Good Enough to Stay! We call for Permanent Residency for TFWs! We call for Permanent Residency for Vicky Venacio!

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Radio Free Strawberry

Live-In Caregivers Reveal Confidential Government Plans, Call for Permanent Status

Media briefings in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa on October 9th

TORONTO, VANCOUVER, OTTAWA, Oct. 7, 2014 /CNW/ – Live-In Caregivers groups in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa will reveal details of secretive Conservative government plans to overhaul the Live-In Caregiver program and end the government’s obligation to ensure permanent residency for Caregivers for the first time since 1900. Current and former caregivers, with support of of childcare coalitions, women’s rights groups and others will be speaking out and proposing an alternative solution at media briefings across the country on October 9, 2014.

OTTAWA – October 9, 2014, 5pm EST
Divisoria Market, 1743 Carling Ave

TORONTO – October 9, 2014, 11am EST
720 Spadina Avenue, Suite 223 (Bloor & Spadina)

VANCOUVER – October 9, 2014, 1pm PST
BCTF office, Prior Room, 2nd floor, 100 – 550 West 6th Avenue

Context

Live-In Caregivers are immigrant women mostly from the Philippines and the Caribbean but also from other countries that come to Canada to take care of young children, people with disabilities and the sick and the elderly. We work in people’s homes providing vital care and nurturing.

For almost two centuries, immigrant women have been coming to Canada as caregivers, providing care to build health and strong communities. But access to permanent residency has been declining. Today, Caregivers must live in employers homes on a precarious basis for 24 months before being able to apply for permanent residency. During this time, caregivers often face stolen wages, bad health, long hours, separation from their families and employer abuse. Accessing justice means putting our ability to stay in Canada at risk, and is therefore simply not an option.

Today, 1 in 7 Canadian resident is aged 65 or over. By 2036, nearly 1 in 4 will be seniors. Over five million children in the country are under 14 years of age. The current economic climate means that all members of the household need to hold jobs. This makes taking care of young children, and aging parents and relatives extremely difficult. There is a real need for a national care strategy that includes universal childcare, real pensions, decent nursing homes and caregivers coming to the country as immigrants with permanent residency. We deserve permanent residency on landing. You deserve caregivers that have stable, decent lives.

www.caregiversactioncentre.org
www.migrante.ca

For further information:

Aimee Beboso, Chair, Philippine Migrants Society of Canada – Migrante, (613) 773-0872
Pura Velasco, Spokesperson, Caregivers Action Centre, (647) 624-3158
Jane Ordinario, Spokesperson, Migrante BC, (604) 961-7794

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Urgent Meeting for Current and Former Live-in Caregivers in the Toronto Area

Caregivers' Action CentreFrom our friends at the Caregiver’s Action Centre:

The Federal Conservatives are quietly trying to totally change the Live-In Caregiver Program. They want to take away permanent immigration status from Live-In Caregivers.

We cannot allow this to happen.

We are calling an emergency meeting of current and former Live-In Caregivers so that we can plan our response. Join us.

If you are a current or former Live-In Caregiver, please come to this meeting:
3pm, August 23, 2014
Suite 223, 720 Spadina Avenue.

Please RSVP here. If you cannot be there on August 23rd, but want to know about future meetings, then please email us!

Thank you.

Caregivers’ Action Centre

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