Dying nanny wants law change
Filipina caregiver, ill with cancer, granted residency after battle with federal government
Aug 26, 2008 04:30 AM
Juana Tejada, a Filipina nanny with terminal cancer who celebrated becoming a permanent resident yesterday, wants to make her dream of security in Canada a reality for other live-in caregivers.
A campaign led by unions and immigrant support groups is proposing a "Juana Tejada Law" – an amendment to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that would help guarantee the rights of medically inadmissible but otherwise qualified foreign caregivers living in Canada.
Tejada had her immigration application denied twice because, though healthy when she arrived, she developed cancer while working in Canada and was now deemed a burden on the health-care system. But after strong public support, she was recently cleared to apply for permanent residency.
Before arriving in Canada, live-in caregivers undergo stringent medical exams.
They must live with the same employer for 24 months out of three years, then undergo a second medical exam to apply for permanent residence. Tejada's supporters want to see that second exam requirement eliminated for caregivers.
I am not certain if I support this or not. I do feel for the woman but I am also concerned about the undue strain this will put on Canada's already financially strapped and overburdened health care system, a situation Canada's mass immigration system has contributed to and worsened.
I don't see why we allow nannies to apply for permanent residency anyways. What skills do they bring to Canada that Canada cannot supply itself? It seems many Filipinas will suffer the indignity of caring for someone else's children (a shame equally borne by the employer who can't bother himself and herself to raise their own damn kids) as an avenue to citizenship. But why should we let them become citizens? When their care giving job is over then what do they do? It seems to me they are just adding to the surplus labour force. We also allow it becuase they supply cheap and easy access to readily exploitable third world labour for Canada's middle class.
I can also see the law being extended to other apply to other temporary workers in Canada. This is just one complication an increasingly temporary and foreign born workforce is bringing to Canadian society.