Are you a Caregiver? You deserve care too! Join CAC on May 13th for an afternoon of free workshops, food, and good company!
Are you a Caregiver? You deserve care too! Join CAC on May 13th for an afternoon of free workshops, food, and good company!
Feel free to drop in for a portion of the day or stay for the whole day. Some workshops will happen at the same time as individual meetings with lawyers
10:00 am – 11:00 am
Coffee, snacks, welcome, introduction: who is CAC and what do we do?
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Workshop: Navigating the Immigration system as a caregiver
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
One-on-one meetings with lawyers
12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Workshop by OHIP for All: Accessing quality health care, with or without OHIP
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Focus Group: the government changed the caregiver program in 2014. We want to hear from you about how this program is or is not working, and what we can do to change it
TTC Tokens, snacks and lunch will be provided. If you need childcare or have any other needs that we can help you with, please contact us in advance.
Please note: this clinic is for caregivers only. If you are already working with a lawyer, you are welcome to attend the workshops but please do not book an appointment with a lawyer.
We recognize and regret that this event coincides with International Women’s Day activities. We will try to wrap up as early as possible and head over there together!
On January 30th, the Federal government is set to announce new policies for migrant workers, including caregivers. Whether these laws are good or bad is up to you.
Email the Ministers right now to create open permits for migrant workers. We have only until January 30th. We have made a very simple tool which will take you just one minute to contact them. Click right now to email and tweet.
EMAIL THE MINISTERS
Of all the injustices that migrant workers face, one of the most brutal is that many of us are tied to our bosses. Under Canadian laws, tied work permits make it so many caregivers can only work for one employer at one location. It’s almost impossible to leave a job, even if we are facing abuse or the job is making us sick. Here’s what Caregiver, Comfort Sister, has to say:
“When I lost my job, I was kicked out of the house with nowhere to go. Since then, I have not worked because I’m afraid that if I work for another employer, I will be deported. I do not have money, I left my family back home, I have my children’s school fees to pay. The government needs to hear all of this. We want open work permits so that we do not have to be afraid or stuck anymore.”
Being tied to one employer means many migrant workers live in misery. There are farm workers who are not allowed bathroom breaks as they sweat in the fields and greenhouses, working with pesticides without safety equipment. As you know, there are Caregivers working 14 hour days but are being paid for only six.
This isn’t fair. Employer tied work work permits are unjust. They must stop. We have less than a week to make it so.
On January 30th, the Federal Government will respond to a Parliamentary Committee report on migrant workers. The report has recommended that the Minister “take immediate steps to eliminate the requirement for an employer-specific work permit”. Email the Employment Minister Patricia Hajdu today and and tell her to do the right thing. Insist on open work permits for all migrant workers. Tell your friends to do the same.
Just two weeks ago, our collective action stopped Gina Bahiwal’s deportation. As she said, “this is a victory for all migrant workers, however the fight is not over yet. Myself and the other workers are going to continue to organize and to fight against the injustices of our immigration where we are tied to a single employer. The only solution is permanent immigration status on arrival for all temporary foreign workers”. Let’s continue the struggle.
Email the Ministers right now: http://migrantrights.ca/en/take-action/#email
Share this campaign on FACEBOOK
The 4-and-4 rule required migrant workers to leave after four years of cumulative employment and banned them from returning for four years. Over 15 cities organized protest and actions in March 2015 as a lead up to the imposition of the 4-and-4 rule which uprooted tens of thousands of migrant workers, and caused mass deportations. Nearly 4,000 people signed petitions. Since October 2015, the Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights Canada (CMWRC) has campaigned for the overturn of this rule and permanent status on landing.
While this is an important step, we need more than repealing and tinkering. We need a total overhaul of the system which begins with ensuring permanent status on landing for migrant workers now and a regularization program for workers who stayed and became undocumented.
In the announcement, the Federal Government promised to expand ‘pathways to citizenship’. The Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights Canada (CMWRC) believes that ‘pathways’ are a euphemism for maintaining unjust temporariness for low-waged and racialized workers. A pathway is a two stage process, where migrant workers must first complete a temporary sentence of abuse and injustice before a few are selected to compete for permanent status. Low-waged and racialized people deemed to be doing ‘low-skilled’ work deserve permanent status on landing, just as much as those deemed to be doing ‘high skilled’ work.
Migrant workers from across Canada called for a repeal of the 4-and-4 rule and most importantly permanent status on landing in the recent review of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program in Ottawa. In the meantime, we continue to fight for open work permits for migrant workers.
Caregivers’ Action Centre will be closed for the holidays on Thursday, December 22nd, 2016. We will re-open on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017. During that time, the CAC phone line will not be open.
If you are in need of support for a problem at work, please call the Ontario Ministry of Labour at 1-800-531-5551.
If you are in need of urgent emotional support over the holidays, please call the Gerstein Centre’s 24 hour a day hotline, at: 416-929-5200. If you require immediate support for violence at home or in your workplace, please call the 24 hour a day Assaulted Women’s hotline 1.866.863.0511. For a list of other services across Ontario, please call 211 or visit their website.
Wishing you all a restful holiday. We look forward to working for change together in the New Year!
Media Contact: Anna Malla, Caregivers’ Action Centre, 647-782-6633
Caregiver mothers separated from families appeal for change
Toronto, September 8, 2016 – A week before Parliament returns with recommendations on changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker program, migrant caregivers are appealing for change. Several migrant workers denied permanent residency based on their children’s diagnosed disabilities will be speaking out against the discrimination they are facing, and the devastating emotional and financial impacts family separation has had on them. These caregivers and their supporters are calling for permanent status upon arrival.
WHAT: Caregivers and supporters calling for permanent immigration status, and an end to discriminatory rules preventing caregivers from sponsoring children with disabilities
WHEN: 11am, September 11, 2016
WHERE: Suite 223, 720 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario
WHO: Luvy Alicbusan, Live-In-Caregiver denied status, GABRIELA Ontario member; Josarie Danieles, Live-In Caregiver denied status, Caregivers’ Action Centre member; Kristina Torres, Live-In Caregiver, Caregivers’ Action Centre member; Mithi Esguerra, GABRIELA Ontario Chair;
VISUALS: Caregivers telling their stories, with videos and photographs of their children from whom they have been separated
Migrant workers come to Canada through a variety of programs including the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (which includes the Caregiver Program and the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program) and the International Mobility Program. Migrant workers in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program come to Canada on closed work permits, which means they are unable to change jobs.
Unlike temporary foreign workers in the ‘high-waged category’, the bulk of temporary foreign workers are not allowed to come to Canada with their spouses or children. Years of family separation causes well-documented detrimental health impacts on migrant workers and their families.
Caregivers are the only group of low-waged migrant workers that can apply for permanent residence after living precariously and on temporary permits inside Canada – a so-called two-step path: first temporary, then permanent. The Caregiver Program was modified in 2014, and relevant changes in immigration law will begin to affect caregivers starting November 2016. In the new program, caregivers are likely to experience further undue hardship in getting permanent residency due to new language and licensing requirements, and a new quota system that limits the numbers of caregivers who can get permanent residency in a given year.
Caregivers who entered under the previous program (the Live-in Caregiver Program or LCP) are already experiencing difficulties in their applications for permanent residency because of stringent requirements, including the need to complete their term of work within four years (the 4-and-4 rule).
Among the many problems faced by migrant workers is the “medical inadmissibility” of family members. Many caregivers are being denied permanent residency if either a dependent or the primary applicant has a disability. This provision exacerbates family separation, and unfairly punishes migrants with disabilities in contravention of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other Canadian laws and International Treaties.
The Federal Government has concluded a review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in its previous sitting and its findings are expected to be tabled on September 19. New laws and regulations are expected soon after.
Migrant caregivers and their supporters are calling on the the Federal Government to:
Immediately grant permanent residency to Luvy Alicbusan, Josarie Danieles, and their families, as well as other migrant workers who have been denied permanent residency on disability grounds.
Grant access to permanent residency status to migrant workers currently in Canada, including undocumented workers, with specific provisions to allow their families to join them.
Ensure that all migrant workers are allowed to come to Canada with their families, and with permanent residency status, which is the norm for applicants in the Canadian Express Entry system.
Ensure all migrant workers have access to all public services, have their basic rights ensured and have the ability to change jobs through open work permits.
It is our recommendation that no third-party should hire caregivers or temporary foreign workers on behalf of employers. The only real and permanent solution is granting these workers permanent resident immigration status on landing – this is our key recommendation. As an interim measure, we propose open or sectoral work permits along with stronger provincial labour protections as fairer and more effective mechanisms than regulated companies to hire caregivers. Permanent immigration status on landing does not entail a closure of the temporary foreign workers program or a mass expansion of it. Rather we propose a third way: inclusion and access for low-waged racialized women in care work to Canada with full rights and benefits that can only be secured by permanent resident status.
READ IN FULL HERE.
Please visit www.migrantrights.ca to sign a petition, contact your MP and join an action. You can get all the facts you need!
If you are in Toronto, join us on May 30th at 1pm at the Southeast corner of Bloor and Spadina for a rally for migrant worker rights.
The OEERC is seeking an experienced Organizer to support the work of one of our grassroots partners, the Caregivers’ Action Centre.
Download the job posting HERE.
Submit cover letter and resume by fax, mail, or drop-off before 5 pm, Wednesday May 25.
On 7 Oct 2015, members of the Caregivers’ Action Centre attended a campaign rally where former defense minister and minister of immigration, Jason Kenney addressed the Filipino community at Mt. Zion Seventh Day Adventist Church in Downsview, Ontario.
Kenney’s touting of the so-called “improvements” to the Caregiver Program are contrary to the reality that by and large, the changes to the program have made the lives of Caregivers even more difficult than before, with 90% of Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) coming back negative. This effectively locks in Caregivers into potentially abusive employment situations, and the doubling of waiting times for permanent residency applications.
Kristina Torres, a member of CAC, states that “The Conservative government is touring our churches, temples and mosques, posing as a friend to immigrants while secretly making it harder for our families to stay together. Nothing else will do. We do not need more empty promises.”
The relegation, exploitation and oppression of migrant Women workers of Colour is UNACCEPTABLE.
Caregivers and all migrant workers must have permanent status upon arrival!
For further reading, click here to check out Ethel Tungohan’s article on rabble.ca