A coalition of non-profit and advocacy groups across Canada continues to advocate for migrant workers' rights, including caregivers, a year ahead of the expiration of the foreign care workers program in November 2019.
The Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights – Canada is composed of groups like migrant Workers Alliance for Change, Caregivers’ Action Centre, Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregivers Rights, PINAY, Migrante Alberta, Association for the Rights of Household Workers, Eto Tayong Caregivers (ETC), GABRIELA Ontario and Migrante Ontario.
A report titled Care Worker Voices for Landed Status and Fairness was published in November 2018 by the coalition. The report outlines a proposed Federal Worker Program – Care Worker Stream (FWP-CW) to replace the caregiver pilot project that the federal government introduced in 2014 that created two new pathways for permanent residence for caregivers on a five-year pilot basis: the Caring for Children Class, and the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Class – each with a cap of 2,750 applications for permanent residence each year.
The proposed FWP-CW is envisioned to be an economic class for permanent immigration as specified in Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The proposed stream is designed to reflect actual skills required in delivering care work that caregivers are currently providing.
Some of the recommendations contained in the FWP-CW stream are:
- Maintaining minimum job requirements like education, work experience and language ability but adjust those criteria to reflect actual skills required to deliver care work;
- Abolition of age requirement;
- Use of the Canadian Job Bank by prospective employers to find care workers;
- Remove application caps;
- Modify the labour market impact assessment (LMIA) with the federal government conducting labour market assessments to determine demand.
The coalition also launched an online campaign calling for landed status for migrant workers upon arrival. To date, over 1,500 have signed the petition email to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen. The petition highlights the measures proposed by the FWP-CW stream. To sign the petition: http://migrantrights.ca/en/take-action/landed-status-now/