Caregivers' Action Centre

June 15, 2009 15:28 ET

Caregivers' Action Centre-Government Report Recognizes Need for Resident Status for Caregivers

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 15, 2009) - The Migrant Workers and Ghost Consultants report by the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration released June 10, 2009 recognizes that the Live-in Caregiver Program sets up a structure for unscrupulous employers to exploit caregivers.

"We applaud the report's recommendation to the government to provide permanent residence to caregivers upon arrival in Canada to work, this was a hard earned victory after years of mobilization" says Pura Velasco, a leading member of the Caregivers' Action Centre. "But there must be no conditions on caregivers in retaining status. Such conditions will keep caregivers in positions of indentured labour. The report failed to support caregivers' call for removing the requirement for caregivers to live-in their employers' homes."

The current system requires caregivers to work for 24 months in employers' residences during the first 3 years in Canada with no right to resident status. The committee would make retaining resident status conditional on workers completing 24 months of work as a live-in caregiver.

The recommendations of the Committee also included an echoing of the recommendation made under the previous report on Temporary Foreign Workers and Non-Status Workers such as open work visa's for family members of caregivers. Additional recommendations included extending coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program to caregivers denied coverage under a provincial health plan; waiving the requirement to obtain a study permit for live-in caregivers; and providing orientation sessions for caregivers on obtaining statements of earnings and deductions as well as their basic rights.

Community allies also spoke to the failure of the Committee to recommend granting permanent resident status upon arrival for all Temporary Foreign Workers, including Seasonal Agricultural Workers, leaving these indentured workers without protection. "We urge the government to take the important step of granting permanent resident status acknowledged in the Standing Committee's report on migrant workers and extend this to all Temporary Foreign Workers without conditions," says Chris Ramsaroop, Justicia for Migrant Workers.

The Caregivers' Action Centre and allied groups will continue to mobilize in the upcoming weeks and months in order to achieve substantial changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers program including permanent residency and equal access to employment standards.

Contact Information

  • Caregivers' Action Centre
    Pura Velasco
    Justicia for Migrant Workers
    Chris Ramsaroop