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I often get asked whether one has to cover sick days for personal caregivers or nannies. I usually have the same response: it depends. What did you agree to when she first started working? This is a difficult topic, but it is important to think about it at the outset of the relationship.
The creation of the "temporary" migrant worker programs were at their very core a policy rooted in racist exclusion. And that's exactly where the clock is being turned to today. The shutting out of thousands of racialized women from permanent immigration status is being strangely spun as a step forward. Immigration Minister Chris Alexander insisted, "We are saying to the whole Canadian population, to caregivers above all, the time of abuse and vulnerability is over".
Proclamations and election mania aside, families may have to hold their breath long after the party hats are put away, the platforms are dusted off, and campaign offensives are silenced into temporary stalemate before any genuine childcare programs are implemented.
The mere fact that the media has zeroed in on Tagalog as the fastest growing immigrant language, and the public's surprise of this so-called linguistic phenomenon, is telling of the social insignificance of Canada's third largest ethnic group. Sure, Filipinos are common props in fast-food restaurants, hotels and homes, but their lack of political and economic weight renders them invisible despite their large presence and 24/7 work cycles.