March 21, 2018
Caregiver Organizations across the country called on the Federal Government to conduct an open and transparent consultation process on the Caregiver Program that centres the voices of Caregivers. You can see the full Letter for Comprehensive Review CP 2018, or read it below.
We, the undersigned, constitute a diverse group of community organizations from across the country dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights of migrant caregivers. We wish to address the government’s recent decision to launch a review of the caregiver pathways to permanent residency, the Caring for Children pathway and the Caring for People with High Medical Needs pathway. We are pleased to hear that a review is currently being conducted and that the government is committed to ensuring that caregivers continue to have access to permanent residency. However, we want to ensure a comprehensive consultation process that centres on those directly affected by the program, and any changes to it. As such, we are asking for the review process to be open to the public and transparent, and for caregivers to be consulted. We also want to ensure that the timelines and plans for the consultations and policy development be clearly laid out from the get-go, and that caregiver and advocate voices be involved at every step. Many of the organizations and individual signatories to this letter have been individually invited to private consultations with the government. While we welcome the opportunity to have our voices heard, we must insist that this process be formalized and inclusive.
The need for a comprehensive review of the caregiver pathways cannot be understated. The 2014 reform of the Live-in Caregiver Program exacerbated the problems associated with that program, while the new pathways created hurdles which have unfairly prevented many caregivers from transitioning to permanent residency. Considering the invaluable contribution made by migrant caregivers to Canadian society and the economy as a whole, the growing demand for their services and, most importantly, their never-ending struggle to have their rights respected in Canada, the time to enact a fair and just immigration policy for these workers is long overdue. This can only be achieved if the government is actively engaged with migrant caregivers themselves and caregiver advocacy groups.
As such, we are requesting that the review include a formal, transparent and accessible process on the following issues:
- The establishment of a fair and just permanent residency policy for all migrant caregivers;
- Improving family unity for caregivers and their families;
- Fair and reasonable transitional measures for caregivers who are working under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and may not be eligible for permanent residency due to the November 29, 2019 deadline.
In order for migrant caregivers to have the opportunity to fully participate in the consultation process, we ask that the government take into full consideration their demanding work schedules. We recommend that consultations take place on weekends and are announced with adequate notice to allow caregivers to make scheduling arrangements. Importantly, this would require that the public consultations and written submissions extend past the April 6th deadline set by IRCC. Finally, consultations should be held in all of the provinces and territories across Canada
Anna Malla, Organizer, Caregivers Action Centre
Annette Beech, VFCCA Representative, Victoria Filipino Canadian Association
Ethel Tungohan, GABRIELA Ontario
Hannah Deegan, Project coordinator Association pour la Défense des Droits du Personnel Domestique (ADDPD)/Association for the Rights of Household Workers (ARHW)
Leah Evangelista Woolner, Vice-Chair, PINAY (Filipino Women’s Organization in Quebec)
Martha Ocampo, Caregiver Connections Education and Support Organization (CCESO)
Natalie Drolet, Staff Lawyer/Executive Director, Migrant Workers Centre
Syed Hussan, Coordinator, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change