Filipinos have a fan in Canadian Immigration Minister John McCallum.
The Liberal MP has first-hand experience of the value immigrants from the Philippines provide to Canadian society – because his 92-year-old mother is looked after by a Filipina caregiver.
McCallum visited the country he describes as ‘Canada’s biggest customer’ this week, taking with him news of how the caregiver stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) will be tweaked to better-protect workers from abuse.
Instead of being directly employed by families, the federal government proposes to create regulated companies responsible for recruiting caregivers and placing them with families. This way, caregivers are not tied to one employer who holds the power to take away their temporary visa.
This is one of the changes to TFWP expected to be introduced by the Liberal government in September, when the long-awaited overhaul of Canada’s immigration system is made public.
McCallum made the comment to the Filipino press at the Fairmont Makati Hotel in Manila, where he was a guest of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines on Thursday.
He also made a number of other revealing comments, as the Liberals begin to build a picture of exactly what they plan to do with Canadian immigration.
Most of it he has said before – including the following:
- Speed up family reunification,
- Make it easier to bring in highly-skilled talent,
- Make it easier for international graduates from Canadian universities to get permanent residency,
- Dramatically reduce use of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), the time-consuming method used to assess if a Canadian is available to fill a position.
But McCallum also gave further insight into the values underpinning what the Liberals are trying to do with immigration.
- He has a ‘deep belief’ in immigration’s importance to Canada’s future.
- Regardless of status on arrival, experience shows immigrants, their children and their grandchildren will make a positive contribution. Read more here.
- The contribution of immigrants results in jobs, innovation and growth.
- New immigrants are some of the most motivated members of Canadian society. They want to be accepted and they want to achieve.
- Canada’s aging demographic makes immigration critical to increase the population, which would naturally be in decline. This is more pronounced in certain parts of the country, particularly Atlantic Canada.
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