Jenny Kwan, Member of the Canadian House of Commons, Member of Parliament for Vancouver East and NDP Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, was the resource speaker at the Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregivers Right (CDWCR) workshop to discuss the recently announced new Caregivers Program to replace the current caregivers pilot program which ends in November.
The workshop was held at the South Vancouver Adult Day Centre on February 24.
CDWCR, along with the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, consider the new pathways for caregivers to attain permanent residency a “very positive step in the right direction but falling short of what we’ve been asking for.”
For the past many years, the CDWCR and their support groups have been advocating for permanent resident status upon arrival for domestic workers instead of as temporary foreign workers. They vowed to continue fighting for landed status in future consultations with IRCC through a new nationwide organization called Migrant Rights Network based in Toronto.
Other issues discussed by Kwan with CDWCR members include details for implementing the new programs such as: what to do with caregivers currently in the soon-to-expire pilot program
And humanitarian consideration for caregivers with medically unqualified family members.
In future consultation with IRCC regarding implementing details of the new program, the caregivers all over Canada are united in demanding the following:
- A comprehensive and transparent consultation process to reform the Caregiver Program.
- A new Federal Workers Program -Caregiver Stream that provides caregivers with permanent status on entry and family unity.
- Reforms to protect caregivers who are already in Canada and in the backlog to ensure that no one is left behind.
These reforms will involve allowing caregivers to come to Canada with all their immediate family members, eliminating the backlog in caregivers’ permanent residency applications; removing the ‘excessive demand’ provision in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA); regularizing the status of caregivers who have become undocumented; developing immigration criteria that are consistent with what is needed to do the job, and putting an end to the second medical and to excessive educational and language requirements re-introduced in 2014.
On February 23, Darla Tomeldan, a regulated immigration consultant, also held an information session for caregivers who have attained permanent residency and preparing to apply for Canadian citizenship. She spoke about regulations for applying for citizenship, eligibility requirements and supporting documents needed as well as rights and responsibilities of citizenship.