Migrant care workers hosted a Mother’s Day brunch with a twist in Toronto calling for permanent resident status on arrival, and family unity. Care workers who are separated from their families gathered with photographs of their children to ask for immediate expansion of the new Interim Pathway program that might leave thousands of workers without permanent resident status.
“We work to care for Canadian families, we make sure children are healthy and safe, but we ourselves are separated from our own children. That’s just not fair,” says Jhoey Cruz, a Filipino migrant Care worker who has been separated from her two children for 16 years. “The government should fix the rules so that all of us who have been working in Canada are given permanent residenT status and are reunited with our families. Care workers who come to Canada in the future also need permanent resident status on arrival.”
The current Caregiver Program is set to expire in November 2019. Under the current Caregiver program initiated in 2014, only 1,955 Care workers and dependents were granted permanent residency in the first 36 months. This is in stark contrast to the average 10,740 Care workers and their dependants who received permanent resident status every year under the previous Live-In Caregiver program.
Care workers are also concerned that no laws, or regulations have been announced to replace the program set to expire in November 2019.
In March 2019, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen issued a press release promising another pilot Care Worker program, but no laws or policies have been put on paper.
Care workers across Canada are urging the federal government to:
• Expand the pathway to all workers who came to Canada under the 2014 Pilot Caregiver program (i.e., grandfather all current caregivers in the program under the Interim Pathway)
• Allow Care workers to apply if they have worked in Canada for 12 months, even if the work was done without a work permit
• Allow undocumented workers to apply
• Reduce the required language level –care workers came to Canada with a required language level of CLB Level 3
• Remove requirement for second medical examination and
• Create an Interim Pathway in Quebec in coordination with Quebec-based Care worker groups and the Government of Quebec -CINEWS