With a new report launched Sunday, migrant care workers are calling for permanent resident status upon arrival as the expiration of the Caregiver Program looms near.
The Caregivers Action Centre & Caregiver Connections group held a press conference in Toronto, bringing awareness to their campaign by sharing stores from racialized women care workers who came to Canada in hopes of settling down permanently.
“Women like us have been coming to Canada for over a century raising children, taking care of the sick and the elderly, being the backbone of the economy, and yet we are treated like we are expendable,” said Kara Manso, coordinator of the Caregivers Action Centre in Toronto, in a news release.
“We need security, and that means landed status on arrival, family unity and justice for workers already here.”
The report, titled “Care Worker Voices for Landed Status and Fairness,” features over 150 care worker stories to demonstrate the impact of family separation, low wages, precarious status and unfair laws and polices on migrant care workers.
The group cites that an average of 8,000 new care worker permits were issued each year in the last five years, all coming on employer-specific work permits and without their families while on temporary resident status. More than 95 percent of the care workers surveyed, they said, reported that family separation enforced by the program had “the most significant detrimental impact” on their lives.
The Coalition of Care Workers said they are demanding the government create a new Federal Workers Program for care workers that will provide landed status upon entry for workers and their families, and to also allow them the ability to find employment in Canada through the national job bank.
Other things the coalition demanded includes the ability to apply for permanent residency after a year of work, open and renewable work permits, removal of education requirements, and caps for permanent resident applications among other demands.
The Caregiver Program is set to be expired by November 2019.