Canada’s nanny program is being used as a loophole to get into the country, an industry group says.
“There is no obligation for nannies to work for the family,” said Manuela Gruber Hersch, president of the Association of Caregivers and Nanny Agencies Canada, a group that works with nannies and sponsors.
Gruber Hersch said she worked on a case three months ago in which a nanny called her sponsor in Grande Praire, Alta. after arriving at Calgary International Airport to tell them she wasn’t showing up for work.
“This family had spent a lot of money and had repainted a room for the nanny,” she said on Wednesday. “This happens a fair bit and it was totally devastating for the family involved.”
She said a family can spend up to $5,000 to bring a nanny to Canada since they have to pay for their medical examination and airfare. Once approved, a nanny is issued a three-year work permit and sponsors are responsible for providing them room and board as well as a weekly stipend.
A loophole to exploit the program was created after a April 2010 policy change stemming from a controversy in which two nannies, who were hired by Brampton Springdale MP Ruby Dhalla to care for her mother, complained their passports were seized and they were not paid, Gruber Hersch said.
She said 600 nannies have changed employers in the last year.
Some nannies engage in acts so they can be fired by their families. Their visa is valid for them to work elsewhere, she said.
The nanny program is akin to the refugee system in that both are the steady inflow on unskilled immigrants who otherwise would be inadmissible to Canada. Since both are avenues to permanent residency and eventual citizenship they are essentially just alternate immigration routes and thus invites abuse. In an earlier post we learned that male Punjabis are the dominant applicants for the nanny program out of India even though in the chauvinistic Punjabi culture domestic duties are the realm of females.
The nanny program should not be an avenue for permanent residency. Nannies should be regarded for what they really are: temporary foreign workers. It is clear, and easily presumed, that those admitted as nannies have no intentions of continuing the work once they are eligible for permanent residency. The article tells us of one nanny who spent more time searching the internet for alternate work then doing her job by minding the kids. I'm sure this is quite common.
Of course, that majority of nannies are Filipinos and according to the article "more than 90% of those who arrive in Canada under the program apply for permanent residency after two years." We can then surmise that the nanny program is nothing more than the steady importation of unskilled female Filipinos who otherwise would be inadmissible to Canada. In turn they can then start importing the rest of their families after a mere two years of baby sitting.
Since these nannies flee this line of work so readily the labour market demand for nannies is never satisfied creating a permanent demand, and another gaping hole in the border, for others to take advantage of. So what we have in actuality is the perpetual importation of unskilled labour, primarily female Filipinos, flooding the Canadian job market who end up competing with Canadians for available jobs and school admissions (to upgrade their skills). Compounding this is the importation of family members who do not need pertinent job skills or language skills to enter the country as a sponsored relative. As a consequence they can have a negative effect on wages and salaries and pressure businesses to adopt employment equity standards designed to deny jobs to the majority host society. I fail to see how this is beneficial to Canada and Canadians. Indeed, it is yet another example of where the system benefits the immigrant more so.
Of course, Canadians can raise their own damn kids or is that asking to much?