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Committee recommendations may improve lives of all foreign workers - Metro US

Committee recommendations may improve lives of all foreign workers

There could be some good news on the way for nannies who hope to establish themselves in Canada under the Live-In Caregiver Program (the LCP).

The LCP recently came under intense scrutiny after several stories appeared in the media about nannies who were allegedly abused by their employers, and others who fell victim to the program’s bureaucratic entanglements.

Parliament’s Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration has been hard at work making recommendations on ways to improve not just the LCP, but also the broader Temporary Foreign Worker program that covers all foreigners who come to Canada on a work permit.

The committee issued 36 recommendations in a May report, followed up by seven more in June.

In May, the committee recommended the implementation of the “Juana Tejada Law.” Tejada was a client of my firm who I wrote about twice in this column. She came to Canada under the LCP, and after completing her two years of service, she underwent a second immigration medical exam that diagnosed her with terminal cancer, rendering her ineligible to be landed in Canada.

Although she was ultimately landed on humanitarian grounds before she passed away in March of this year, we proposed the passage of a legislative amendment dropping the second medical requirement which is asked only of nannies.

With respect to the LCP, the committee also recommended that

– Nannies be granted conditional permanent residence upon arrival in Canada

– In order to satisfy the condition, they would have to provide evidence that they have accumulated two years of service within the first three years of their arrival

– A one-year extension could be granted where there is “good reason” the nanny could not complete her service within the first three years here

– Nannies be allowed to study here without requiring a study permit. Of course, if nannies are permitted to come here as conditional permanent residents, they presumably wouldn’t need a study permit to pursue an education after-hours.

With respect to all foreign workers, the committee recommended that:

– The accompanying family members of all foreign workers be eligible for an open work permit

– Work permits no longer be employer-specific, but rather sector and province-specific

– The live-in requirement associated with certain types of work permits be removed

– Consideration be given to making foreign workers and their employers exempt from making contributions to employment insurance

Of the 43 total recommendations made, if just the above-mentioned measures were enacted, that would be of tremendous help to our foreign workers and their Canadian employers.

However, the greatest beneficiaries of all would be our foreign nannies and those who they come to Canada to care for, namely, our young, our sick and our elderly.

Guidy Mamann practices law in Toronto at Mamann, Sandaluk and is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as an immigration specialist. Reach him confidentially at 416-862-0000 or at metro@migrationlaw.com.

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