Caregivers hold rally to call for end of “Project Guardian”

June 16 Project Guardian RallyVancouver – As the world marks International Domestic Workers Day today, local caregivers held a rally to intensify their call to end a government program that targets and criminalizes caregivers hired under the Live-in Caregiver and Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).  The groups also reiterated the need to grant caregivers open work permits and permanent residency upon arrival.

 

“Canada likes to pride itself as being a leader in the area of human rights.  The reality however is that it treats TFWs, especially foreign caregivers, as disposable workers deprived of many basic labour rights.  Worse, it criminalizes them through programs like ‘Project Guardian’,” says Jane Ordinario, Migrante-BC Coordinator.

 

According to Ordinario, Canada Border Services Agency is conducting raids and deportations of caregivers found to be violating their work permits under “Project Guardian” and other initiatives like it.

 

“These programs are a waste of tax payers money.  Foreign caregivers are not criminals.  The raids are often heavy-handed and very intimidating and the caregivers are not told about their legal rights during the process,” she added.

 

According to the West Coast Domestic Workers Association Executive Director, Natalie Drolet, Canada should grant the TFW caregivers open work permits and permanent residency upon arrival.

 

“It is unjust to tie a worker to one employer at one address.  It leaves them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation because in many cases, the caregivers are afraid to leave their jobs because of the onerous process of obtaining a new work permit for a new employer,” said Drolet, whose association has been helping caregivers facing deportation because of Project Guardian.

 

Local MLA Mable Elmore, Opposition Spokesperson for TFWs and Immigration also said more needed to be done to protect migrant worker rights.

 

“Provincial legislation is needed to ensure that migrant workers are genuinely able to access and exercise their full legal rights, especially when they face abuse or exploitation due to unscrupulous recruitment agencies, immigration consultants or employers,”  said Elmore.

 

“It’s also important that as a nation, we show the willingness to protect and promote the rights and welfare of all workers, especially migrant workers.  And a first step towards that is the ratification of this international convention recognizing the rights of Domestic Workers, she said referring to the International Labour Organization’s Convention 189 (C189).

 

C189 was passed at the 100th meeting of the ILO in 2012 on June 16th and since then, the day is recognized as International Domestic Workers Day.

 

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Help General Brock Elementary get a new play space

 

A small community school in my riding needs your help.

General Brock Elementary is one of only 5 schools across BC – and the only one from Vancouver – selected to be a finalist for a BCAA Play Here Grant.

The final grant recipient is chosen based on the number of votes a school receives.  To vote for General Brock, just click the link below:

https://www.bcaaplayhere.com/space/d9e702db-1ba8-5e44-af5f-9859b11dd927

You can vote for them daily from each of your social media accounts.

Thank you for your support and hopefully together, we can help give the students and local children a much-needed new play space at General Brock.

 

Happy 118th Philippine Independence Day

PID with John Horgan 2016

Philippine Independence Day at Memorial South Park in East Vancouver with Leader John Horgan, MLA Raj Chouhan and friends.

New Democrat Leader John Horgan and Vancouver-Kensington MLA Mable Elmore issued the following statement on the annual Philippine Independence Day celebrations on behalf of the B.C. New Democrats:

“As Filipinos celebrate the 118th Anniversary of Philippine  Independence Day, we join them in marking this great occasion. The Filipino people have shown remarkable courage, fortitude and capacity for hard work and enriching communities all over the world,” said Horgan.

Said MLA Mable Elmore: “Canada in particular is now home to a large community of Filipinos who have put down roots, established thriving communities and are proud to call themselves Filipino-Canadians.

“On this occasion, we extend congratulations and warm wishes to the Filipino-Canadian community as it celebrates this important event. Canada is home to a vibrant Filipino-Canadian community. However, steps still need to be taken to fully integrate Filipino newcomers. It is vitally important that we support the return to a model of permanent immigration to allow all Filipino workers to contribute and participate fully in building our province and country.

“Alongside this, we also need to look at improving the recognition of foreign credentials to ensure all immigrants are able to contribute and benefit in being part of Canadian society.

“Filipino culture, language and traditions continue to make our multicultural society richer and more diverse. On behalf of the New Democrat Caucus we extend our best wishes to everyone for a happy Philippine Independence Day!”

“Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan!

Mabuhay ang Filipino-Canadian community!