Photo credit: Bill Jacobus via Flickr / Creative Commons

Government announces new draft rules for the TFWP

Minister Jason Kenney and Employment and Social Development Canada has just released a discussion paper on changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). This paper outlines new regulations on employer penalties that will be implemented later this fall.  The public has until October 16 to submit comments on these new rules. We encourage everyone to tell the government what you think. You can submit your comments on their comments form. Canadians for an Inclusive Canada will be submitting comments which we will crosspost to this website. In the meantime, we have 5 key questions that need to be answered:

1. What will happen to temporary foreign workers (TFWs) who are found to be working in abusive workplaces, especially to those whose employers have been banned from hiring TFWs?

  • The discussion paper mentions that banning employers from hiring TFWs will entail revoking current and future LMIAs and current work permits.
  • Will TFWs working in these establishments be reassigned to another work place?
  • If not, will they be given a ‘grace period’ to find another employer in Canada willing to hire and sponsor them? Or will they be asked to leave Canada?

2. What are the resources provided by CIC and ESDC for TFWs facing abusive situations? Is there a CIC/ESDC ‘hotline’ TFWs can call to respond to their concerns?

3. In what ways is Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada coordinating their efforts to protect TFWs with provincial labor standards and provincial bodies on immigration/migration?

4. How will the interests of live-in caregivers (LCs) be protected under your proposal? One of the provisions to protect TFWs that is outlined in the discussion paper is the existence of on-site visits and inspections. Since live-in caregivers work in private households, can these visits and inspections still take place?

  • Live-in caregivers face different employment vulnerabilities compared to TFWs and those hired under the IMP. Unlike these groups, live-in caregivers are employed in Canadian families’ households and are oftentimes isolated. In fact, because live-in caregivers live and work in the ‘private sphere,’ we are concerned that the provisions you outline to protect TFWs’ interests are not applicable to live-in caregivers.

5. What will happen to LCs in the event that their employers are found to be abusive?

  • Will they be placed with another Canadian family? Will they receive the opportunity to find another employer?
  • What will happen to live-in caregivers with open work permits who are found to have been working for abusive employers?
  • Will the amount of time they spent working for these employers still count towards their permanent residency applications or will their applications for permanent residency be compromised?
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Jason Kenney used to support permanent residency for caregivers

Last June, Jason Kenney suggested that live-in caregivers should no longer have the right to apply for permanent residency. But he didn’t always believe that. In fact, in 2010, Jason Kenney publicly stated that PR for caregivers is a right and is what distinguishes Canada from other countries.

This is what he said:

Now you, ladies and gentlemen, know like I do that caregivers, particularly from Philippines work hard all around the world in Asia, in the States, in the Middle East, in Europe and in Canada.

But you know what’s unique about Canada?

We don’t just say to caregivers: “Come here for two years, help with your families back home, through remittances” and then we say goodbye.

We are the only country in the world that gives an opportunity for permanent residency and for family sponsorship and for citizenship!

We say to caregivers that we honour and respect your hard work. That we honour your and respect your hard work so much that after your period as a caregiver we invite you to stay and join us as part of our Canadian family.

– Jason Kenney, March 21, 2010, Toronto, ON

If caregivers are good enough to work and care for Canadian children and the elderly, they are good enough to stay. Jason Kenney agrees…or at least he used to.

Add your name to our petition

The federal government needs to know that permanent residency for caregivers is a right and has always been a Canadian value. Tell your Member of Parliament that live-in caregivers deserve landed status.
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Hon Jason Kenney MP speaking at the awarding of the inaugural Disraeli Prize

Filipino Canadians fear end of immigrant dreams for nannies

(Featured image source: Policy Exchange Flickr Stream)

From the Toronto Star:

Ottawa’s recent rhetoric about an “out-of-control” live-in caregiver program has prompted outrage in some quarters — and fear that the days of a pathway to permanent residency for foreign nannies are numbered.

Critics of the government’s approach, including some Conservative loyalists, warn that the growing Filipino Canadian vote could also be at stake in next year’s federal election if the government removes access to immigration from the live-in caregiver program (LCP) — 90 per cent of those participating are from the Philippines.

“This is a defining issue for the Filipino Canadian community,” said Chris Sorio of Migrante Canada, an international advocacy group for Filipino migrants.

“This is something very close to our hearts. It is worrying us because we feel this could be a smoke-screen for changes that are coming to the LCP program. Our concern is they are going to further restrict family reunification under the program.”

Read the report from the Toronto Star’s immigration reporter, Nicholas Keung.

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