As reported by TheStar.com – Employment Minister Jason Kenney criticized the LCP (Live-in Caregiver Program) as being “out of control” and having “mutated” into a program of family reunification, in meetings with the media to discuss Ottawa’s planned reforms to the temporary foreign workers program.
This has prompted outrage in some quarters as well as fear that the path of permanent residency through LCP may be coming to a close. “This is a defining issue for the Filipino Canadian community,” said Chris Sorio of Migrante Canada.
The Live-in Caregiver Program grants permanent status after the caregiver meets the two-year full-time live-in employment requirement, and allows their spouses and children to join them at that point – a key incentive for caregivers to choose to work in Canada despite the family separation of up to four years or more.
“This is something very close to our hearts. It is worrying us because we feel this could be a smoke-screen for changes that are coming to the LCP program. Our concern is they are going to further restrict family reunification under the program.” Chris Sorio continued.
At a closed to the media consultation in Vancouver, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said “the government intends to “modernize” the program and asked participants what they thought of the “automatic permanent residency” afforded to caregivers under the LCP”.
Given Canada’s shortage of childcare spaces and growing need for elder care, it seems unlikely to Kenney will abolish the program. However; his allegations about abuse of the program sound similar to claims he made about other immigration and refugee programs before major overhauls were introduced.
Critics of the government’s approach warn that the growing Filipino Canadian vote could also be at stake in next year’s federal election if the government removes access to immigration from the LCP — 90% of those participating are from the Philippines.
We will report more on this and other related immigration stories as the information becomes available.
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