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Standing up for live-in caregivers

Is the federal government moving forwards the right direction pertaining to the protection and safeguard of Live-in-Caregivers?

The answer is absolutely and definitely YES; there is no doubt whatsoever that the new rules that came into effect since April 2010 can be described/defined as “immaculate”. The government’s firm stance and words are crystal clear; they will no longer accept any abuse, exploitation, unfair or unjust treatment of a Live-in-Caregiver or any foreign worker in Canada.

The federal government has been under a lot of pressure regarding the ill-treatment of Live-in-Caregivers, due to the rising reports and numbers of cases of verbal, physical, sexual abuse and human trafficking. Even Members of Parliament (MP’s) have been accused of improperly seizing passports of Live-in-Caregiver!

Live-in-Caregivers are vulnerable workers that are filling an important labour market need, and of course the program provides an important pathway to Canadian Permanent Residency. Nevertheless, no one should tolerate the abuse and exploitation of the Live-in-Caregiver’s basic rights as human beings.

Care giving is not an easy task, it requires patience, fervent devotion, an intact conscience and last but not least a “great heart”.

The sense of giving, care and love are three essential ingredients that define/describe a Live-in-Caregiver. Canada is an aging society, and our elderly should receive the best care and love.

From my side I lift my “Chapeau” by hailing and admiring the efforts and perseverance of any Live-in-Caregiver in Canada.

The rights of the Caregivers shall be at the forefront of Canada’s Immigration Policy. Tragic Stories exist whereby bad / infamous employees have been found guilty of violating/failing to respect the basic working rights of the Live-in-Caregivers.

The Government of Canada is listening, and made it clear that Employers have a serious obligation towards any Live-in-Caregiver and any foreign worker. As of April 2010, Canada’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced new rules, ensuring protection under Canada’s new Immigration Rules, Caregivers need to work and stay in Canada for a period of two years or up to 3,900 hours before gaining eligibility to apply for Canada’s Permanent Residency.

Moreover, with the recent changes foreign caregivers are not obliged /required to wait for approval of their Canadian Permanent Residency application to gain Canada Work Permit, from now on Live-in-Caregivers are entitled to an open Work Permit.

To top-up, the employer will have to pay the air fare of a Live-in-Caregiver as a start, and will be required to sign a Mandatory Employment Contract. Caregivers rights shall be respected and if the employer fails to abide or comply with the conditions/terms of the Contract, he/she will be punished; to elaborate the latter, in an effort to protect the rights of the Live-in-Caregivers and foreign workers, the new regulations created the imposition of a 2 year ban on the hiring of any temporary foreign workers.

Canada has guaranteed/assured its commitments to safeguarding and protecting the interest of Caregivers. Canada is the only country in the world that gives the opportunity to apply for permanent residency under LCP. Surely, the Caregivers hard work is honored and respected by giving them a “Carte-blanche” towards whatever step/path they desire to pursue in Canada.

Ahmad AlAzem
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku

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