Good Or Bad For You? Listen To Immigration Lawyers And Others About The Changes To The Caregiver Pragram In Canada

November 5, 2014 News

Come to CanadaNothing is perfect when it comes to human creations and laws are not exempted from this rule. The recent changes to the Caregiver Program in Canada has already generated some interesting conversations. These conversations are not just limited to current and future caregivers but also government officials, immigrations specialists and community leaders.

If you are still wondering and not sure whether the new changes to the Caregiver program are good or bad for you, listen to the opinions of these immigration lawyers and some leaders in the caregiver community in Canada.

Chantal Desloges, Immigration Lawyer, Toronto:

“The biggest one of course is that they’re removing the requirement that caregivers have to live in the home with their employer in order to qualify, which is… it’s an enormous change and it’s going to be very, very beneficial for the caregivers.”

Judith Gonzales, Former Caregiver, Caregivers Advocate, Vice President Corporate Marketing, Canadian International Career College, Toronto:

“The enhanced caregiver program will definitely minimize vulnerabilities; the quicker process of permanent residency application will eliminate backlogs and definitely will shorten the waiting time for reunification.”

Richard Kurland, Immigration Lawyer, Vancouver:

“Under new rules, foreign caregivers and their own families all get permanent resident visas in about six months. And, caregivers are no longer required to live in the employer’s home. They have been given the freedom to choose where they want to live. More freedom, faster visas.‎ LCP is fixed.”

Erlinda Insigne, President, Filipino-Canadian Association of Vaughan:

“The immigration reforms to the Caregiver Program is definitely welcome news to the Filipino Caregivers who constitute a majority of caregivers in Canada. The ending of the live-in requirement will surely terminate the long working hours of caregivers and end the susceptibility of being abused by employers.”

Jeannette Rosales, Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Toronto:

“It’s giving the caregivers some clarity in their current situation. There is less anxiety about what’s going to happen. Most importantly, it’s giving the caregivers hope!”

Terry Olayta, Coordinator, First Ontario Alliance of Caregivers Canada (FOACC), Toronto:

“It’s a celebration of thanks. The government has met the needs of the caregivers. In addition, the enhanced program will give more opportunities to better careers.”

Source: cic.gc.ca

ACNA Canada
November 5, 2014
Reply

None of them are employers who are the ones providing the jobs ! So far, we have not come across any employers who feel the changes are positive especially the fact that they can no longer deduct for room and board. Again, it has basically become more expensive for Canadian families to hire . This will NOT benefit future caregivers wanting to work in Canada. Maybe before jumping up and down, sit back and think who are the ones that drive the program. No employers = no jobs = no opportunity to work in Canada.

J. Smith
November 5, 2014
Reply

We do not need to hire caregivers from overseas if we need live out. we can find live out caregivers already in canada. why pay 1000 just to sponsor and they are just using the employers to come here? the government should listen to the employers. we do not abuse the nannies. we just need help so we can go to work.

Clarissa S.
November 8, 2014
Reply

While I applaud the change that sponsoring family members of a caregiver will be a faster process, and that families can be reunited more quickly, I am unhappy that living with one’s employer is now optional, and the fact that we can no longer deduct room and board. I think the government has forgotten that middle class families are having difficulty in trying to find good quality daycare within Toronto and the GTA, let alone a spot in said daycare. The other problem is with the work schedules of some parents doesn’t align with the hours of daycare. The Live-In Caregiver Program (LICP) aided families in alleviating these issues and also helped someone to come and work in Canada and bring their families here for a better life.

Now that the live-in part is optional, what would be the point of sponsoring someone to come from overseas? And even if families did sponsor, have you not heard of the many stories of caregivers leaving a family’s home within a week of their arrival, or even on the day they arrive. This leaves many families very vulnerable, emotional, and feeling as though a financial hole has grown in their pocket for paying the steep LMIA fee, the one-way plane ticket here, agencies costs (if they were involved), welcome gifts for the caregiver, and payments made for an alternate method of caregiving until said caregiver arrived, only to have the caregiver leave them. Families aren’t huge corporations like McDonald’s or RBC who can afford these fees, and yet families who are in a pinch for childcare are treated as such. Some have paid on average $2500-$5000 and invested themselves in these programs only to be left the day the caregiver comes. How can families be compensated for that?

To be told that from one MP that “Despite the live-in requirement under the old program, caregivers were only contractually obligated to work full-time work hours – about 40 hours a week. Because caregivers were free to leave their employer’s residence on weekends and after work hours, requiring them to live with their employers made no sense,” just demonstrates that our government doesn’t understand what the average family has to go through to get adequate childcare coverage. Not everyone has the working hours of an MP. And like any family member who stays with another, why shouldn’t our caregivers be able to leave our homes at the end of their working day or on their weekends? Aren’t they entitled to that?

And to take away the deduction for room and board…this helps not just the employer but also the caregiver. The average rental fee in Toronto for a 2-bedroom apartment is $1200. Food costs are a different story. How does the government expect a newcomer to the country to be able to afford that? Most caregivers who arrive in Canada do not even have enough money for first and last month’s rent. They have no credit history here. And yet, Minister Chris Alexander states, “Most caregivers are pretty creative,” when it comes to being able to pay rent. This usually constitutes 10-15 women living in one place. There aren’t usually enough beds for everyone. Is this what the government wants for our newcomers? And if they do decide to live-in, now, we have to bear the extra costs of having another person in the house, meaning more money for food, utilities, clothing, etc., will come from the family. “This is the cost of business,” as Minister Alexander states. Thank you for keeping families in mind, Minister.

If the government is so concerned over our caregivers being taken advantage of, then why aren’t more plans to make affordable childcare more available in Ontario. Why isn’t more money being invested in that? Why is it that daycare costs are so high and so few spots available? And if these reforms where based on abusive employers, why aren’t these employers being investigated and punished for it? Why is there a form of recourse being created so a caregiver doesn’t get abused? Why is it the new reforms were discussed amongst the caregivers, and are geared towards the caregivers, but no families were consulted?

What this really results in, and what the current caregivers in Canada don’t realize, is while they’re awaiting the arrival of their PR or Open Permit, a family in need of a true live-in caregiver is currently reading the new reform Caregiving Program and saying, “Why would I sponsor someone overseas who doesn’t want to live-in? Why would I invest all this money in recruiting, in processing fees, in flights, only to have them leave me upon arrival. Perhaps I’ll go the local live-out route. It’ll cost me less in the long run.” This means that someone’s sister, friend, mother, or aunt, may no longer get the chance to come to Canada. And that will result in less demand for overseas caregivers and less demand for the program. And next thing you know…there’ll be no need for a Caregiver program. Way to go, Minister Alexander!

And just a PS to Minister Alexander…next time you’re on a radio show, it helps to know the answers to questions about the new reforms. Vague or incorrect information helps no one.

Elsabeth
November 8, 2014
Reply

I just cancelled my sponsorship even though our nanny was close to getting her visa. We can’t afford the money that she might leave for a live out job in the new year. The whole foreign nanny program is unfair to us , the families.