Minister Kenney goes Hill-Billy on Ruby Dhalla -- Live-in Caregiver Program

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Jason Kenney, Canada's Immigration Minister, made yet another Ruby Dhalla joke in the HOC on November 14, 2011.

This is typical Kenney to bleed this subject to the bitter end. This is typical Kenney, nothing more than a hill-billy attempt to hide the fact that the Live-in Caregiver Program, with a number of other Immigration Programs under the Conservatives, is riddled with problems.

Let me explain: Jason Kenney and the Conservative party would like to make the Filipino community believe that they are great supporters of us. The Conservatives were smart, they took their quest to convince the most vulnerable group, Filipino Caregivers, and worked them as hard as they could. Kenney showed up at beauty pageants, was crowned "Monarch of Multiculturalism" etc.

We all remember the spring of 2009, Ruby Dhalla's unfortunate nanny tales came to light and even though Kenney claimed he had no hand in it, people certainly believed that Kenney was the instigator in this whole scenario. 6 months later, Kenney in a big fanfare announced "Significant Improvements" to the Live-in Caregiver Program and while we all really wanted to believe him that he "Truly Cared" for Filipino Caregivers, the reality of course looks very different.

Conveniently, Kenny cut the quota for Permanent Residence Applications in November 2011 for 2012 , effectively blaming reduced demand for the program and pointing out its declining numbers. Recent stats for 2011 show a significant decrease of

Permanent Resident applications for Live in caregivers in 2011 as well.

When only before the election, Jason Kenney stated numerous times that the program would be growing thus implying and making us believe that the Filipino Community would continue to have job opportunities and benefit from the changes to the Live-in Caregiver Program in Canada. Think again!

With a quota cut on PR Applications, this simply means that the Caregivers will be waiting even longer to be reunited with their loved ones. Ultimately, Caregivers want to be together with our families and the only way to do so is by admitting Caregivers with Permanent Residence status upon arrival. Caregivers provide a valuable service to Canadian families and we want to be compensated for it. The majority of caregiver are mistreated and underpaid and Caregivers deserve respect for our services.

The Filipino Community is still waiting for the famous and numerously touted "Employer Black List" which doesn't exist and probably never will. So much for reporting abusive employers, which are plenty still around. Of course, now that the Caregivers just keep mum as the carrot dangling of speedy Open Work Permit will quiet them down even more. We are also hearing of Caregiver being asked for a second medical examination and some being refused. Whatever happened to the Juana Tejada law?

And I have yet to meet one nanny whose employer paid for her airfare or who didn't pay some sort of “Fee for Services" to the greedy Recruitment Agencies or individuals milking them for what they have. We also hear of employers demanding money to hire live in caregivers . Jason Kenney assured us that Filipino Caregivers will no longer be paying fees to get employment for Canada yet many Caregivers are still paying for some "services". Why isn't the government enforcing these rules if they care so much for Caregivers?

In reality, nothing has really changed from before except there is a significant decrease of Caregivers coming to Canada, Kenney cut the quota for Permanent Residence Applicants for Caregivers which means that Caregivers with spouses & kids will now wait much longer to be reunited. Wasn't faster PR one of the other promises made the Kenney back in December 2009?

And there is also talk that the newly passed Bill C-10 will give Jason Kenney the power to deny visa to vulnerable individuals who are likely to face humiliating or degrading treatment thus the Filipino community is bracing themselves to see an increased number of visa refusals of overseas live in caregivers .

The GTA Filipino Caregiver Community was easy to fool. A few schmoozing sessions and the Filipino Caregivers groups melted in Kenney's hands. They went as far as forming a coalition to mobilize Filipinos to vote for the Conservative party especially in ethnic ridings in the GTA area. And then there is the famous video of the head of a Caregiver Group in Ruby Dhalla's old riding "Door Knocking Till My Knuckles Hurt". Jason Kenney is almost ready to jump up and dance a little happy dance.

Kenney without any qualms went after the Filipino votes and lied and made a bunch of false promises fully aware of ulterior plans which apparently, is to keep Filipino Caregivers as far away as possible.

The Conservative party wants to attract more immigrants who keep and spend their money in Canada and don't send their money home to support their families. OK, but who is going to provide this kind of work in Canada? Canadians? Not likely, being a Live-in Caregiver is most times very demeaning and I would like to see who is going to go for it if Filipinos don’t? Rumours that the Government is really trying to eliminate the LCP is rampant and based on the latest developments starting to look more realistic.

The suspicious and sudden surge of over 15,000 Open Work Permits while positive for many Caregivers has us also very suspicious what it yet to come down the pipe. It could be some sort of set up by the Government to see how many Caregivers are able to find employment and how many apply for Unemployment Assistance. As this information gets confirmed, this is the time when the Government may consider taking further measures to change the LCP to a regular Temporary Worker Program without the chance of PR.

And then we have the very vocal Caregiver Recruitment Agencies crying wolf, their bottom line has obviously been affected but let's face it rogue, greedy agencies are the main reason the program was such a mess and is still in such a disarray. They also think that a Caregiver should be bound to a family like a slave and they don't like that caregivers have the right to change employers just like Canadians. Recruitment Agencies apparently aren't aware that Live-in Caregivers have the same rights as Canadians.

The government should get rid of these Agencies all together and come up with a Government run service to connect Families and Caregivers so there is no more need for Caregiver Agencies. Also not too smart, the Agencies criticizing the government won't get them anywhere, they have yet to learn that honey catches flies not vinegar.

But then the Caregiver Groups used lot's of honey on Kenney and see the where the Live-in Caregiver Program is at the moment.

Another one who worked the Filipino Caregivers is Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, is called the Godfather of Caregivers.

And rumour has it that he was rewarded with a Minister position for doing such an exceptional job in helping the Conservatives with the ethnic pandering. Apparently, he is too busy now to meet with the Filipino Caregivers.

In summary, are the Filipino Caregivers better off with the Liberal Party or the Conservative Party? Since most of the "Significant Improvements " were just plain, cheap talk to pander Filipino votes and the only thing that has occurred is a decrease of Caregivers coming to Canada, Caregivers and Families are waiting much longer for PR and more and more Caregivers are being refused PR, I would say that things were much better with the Liberal party.

Mr. Harper and Mr. Kenney, you are put on notice: You fooled the Canadian Filipino community once, you won't fool us again at the 2015 election - You can be sure of that



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