Ottawa to cap number of foreign caregivers in Canada

Whenever the Government makes a Friday afternoon announcement, it suggests that does not believe that it has broad popular support for the policy of program change.

And when it delays announcing part of the package (in this case, pathway to permanent residency), it further suggests that they want to test the waters:

“Caregivers matter to Canada and have made enormous contributions to Canada’s economy, to our economic success, to the success of the Canadian families,” Alexander told a new conference about Canada’s 2015 immigration plan.

“What do these improvements mean to caregivers? They mean, first and foremost, faster processing, faster family reunification, less time away from loved ones . . . . Caregivers will have more pathways toward permanent residency and better tools to achieve success in Canadian labour market.”

According to a press release, the removal of the live-in requirement is expected to result in greater opportunities for Canadians in caregiver occupations and an increase in wages for caregivers hired from abroad if employers demonstrate that there are no Canadians available for the job.

Liza Draman of the Caregivers Action Centre said the Toronto advocacy group’s 1,000-plus members are concerned about what is to come on Nov. 30 when Alexander is scheduled to announce further changes affecting the path to permanent residency for foreign caregivers.

“The only thing that is good about Friday’s announcement is the end to the live-in requirement,” said Draman, a former live-in caregiver from the Philippines. “If the minister is serious about improving the condition for the caregivers, he should grant them status upon arrival.”

Alexander said the department will issue permanent resident status to 30,000 eligible caregivers in 2015 in an attempt to reduce the backlog.

The old live-in caregiver program will be replaced by two new streams — child-care providers and caregivers for those with high medical needs. Both new programs will each take in 2,750 applications a year.

Ethel Tungohan, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta who studies temporary foreign workers, said she is anxious to find out the government’s plan for the nannies’ access to permanent residency.

“What’s going to happen after the 30,000 caregivers are granted permanent status next year?” Tungohan asked. “That’s a big question.”

Will be interesting to watch how commentary in the broader and the Filipino community develops following this phase 1 announcement.

Ottawa to cap number of foreign caregivers in Canada | Toronto Star.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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