Canadian Caregivers Association

April 17, 2009 08:11 ET

Federal Procedures and Wait-Times Harm Caregivers

Consular Procedures Help Facilitate Caregiver Exploitation

Attention: Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ON – MEDIA ADVISORY--(Marketwire - April 17, 2009) - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tristan A. Downe-Dewdney
Canadian Caregivers Association
(416) 628-8388

Federal Procedures and Wait-Times Harm Caregivers

TORONTO, ON - Today, the CCA is calling upon the Federal Government to review the procedures of issuing and renewing work permits for Live-In Caregivers. The Live-In Caregiver program has been riddled, as of late, with stories of exploitation and abuse. Those who most often suffer are caregivers from the Philippines.

Caregivers in the Philippines who apply to the Canadian visa post in Manila for a work permit to come to Canada routinely wait as long as two years or more for their papers to be cleared. This waiting time makes hiring caregivers from the Philippines a non-option for the majority of Canadian families looking for a nanny. Consequently, businesses offering to bring caregivers to Canada with false employers, only to be left in the dark upon their arrival, are enjoying a massive competitive advantage. Those nannies who come to Canada this way are often dependent upon those same agencies for new, real employers, and frequently do not have a full understanding of their rights.

For caregivers already in Canada, changing employers can also represent a major procedural problem. Caregivers need to complete twenty-four months of full time work within three years in order to become eligible for permanent residency (PR). Processing times for new work permits can take up to four months or more, meaning that every change in employers wastes important time that caregivers need to secure PR. Parents that can no longer afford a caregiver, elderly clients who pass away, and nannies escaping abuse represent just a few reasons these changes need to be made. In search of obtaining permanent residency, many nannies are again exposed to exploitation when they are no longer able to leave an abusive environment for fear of losing the possibility to stay in Canada.

The CCA is calling for the creation of a processing unit similar to the Centralized Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia that assists the federal skilled worker program with backlog. A similar office for the live-in caregiver program would provide expedited and standardized processing for work permits at Canadian Consulates abroad and within Canada - reducing their burdens and taking a major step to end the exploitation that flows from it. Simultaneously, an office of this kind would also provide employment opportunities domestically.

/For further information: Canadian Caregivers Association IN: ECONOMY, HEALTH, LABOUR, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Tristan A. Downe-Dewdney, Spokesperson, Canadian Caregivers Association CCA-ACAF
    Primary Phone: 416-628-8388
    Secondary Phone: 613-686-6218