Immigration reforms are coming fast and furious. It's hard to imagine an area of immigration that has been left untouched by former Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney or his replacement, Chris Alexander. These changes include the following:
- Termination of the federal Immigrant Investor Program and Entrepreneur Program;
- Significant cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program aka "Refugee Health";
- Controversial reforms to the Citizenship Act;
- The euphemistically titled "Balanced Refugee Reform Act" which elevates expediency and efficiency as paramount considerations in immigration policy;
- The conditional permanent residency to combat marriage fraud;
- The atrociously entitled "Deporting Foreign Criminals Faster Act" which would allow the removal of Permanent Residents with no right of appeal regardless of the nature of the criminal conviction based merely on the length of sentence imposed (over 6 months); and, among many other reforms,
- Reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
There's little doubt in my mind that the Live in Caregiver program (the "Nanny" program) will next on the (chopping) block.
I believe that the program will either be terminated, or that (caregivers) will lose their ability to apply for permanent residence.
I do not believe that the government will be waiting until the next election to do this. I believe that the CPC has already lost this particular community, and the cat’s out of the bag.
Canada is one of the few (if not the only) country that offers a pathway to citizenship for low wage (and considered low skill) 'nannies' making a destination of choice of many Filipinas seeking a better life abroad. There are approximately 20,000 foreign live-in-caregivers working in Canada at any one time. Most of the Filipino community in Canada can trace their arrival to it.
The concerns surrounding the program include the following:
- It's become a "hidden form of family reunification";
- Most do not continue as nannies or caregivers after completing their requisite hours; and
- Many nannies or caregivers are working for relatives in Canada "raising the question of whether such employment would be available for non-family members".
Of course, this is a familiar program. Vacuous concerns are raised regarding a particular problem (processing times, allegations of abuse) justifying significant reform or elimination. This happened with the Skilled Worker Class (backlog) and the In Canada Refugee Process. These specious concerns are now being raised with the Spouse or Common Law Partner in Canada Class.