Parents who say they’re tearing their hair out trying to apply for a foreign nanny accuse the federal government of stringing them along — for political reasons. They believe the government has effectively killed the live-in caregiver program, without coming out and saying so.
“We’re pawns in a game that’s supposed to look like families are getting helped, but they’re not,” said Michael Shandro, the Edmonton father of two preschoolers.
“Frustration is the biggest thing, because we don’t have a clear handle on the future for our kids,” said his wife, Haley. “We’re just in limbo.”
The Shandros are among hundreds of parents whose applications to bring in foreign nannies have been rejected since Ottawa tightened rules in the temporary foreign worker program.
According to government statistics, 97 per cent of the applications from 751 parents needing child care were not approved between the start of December till the end of March.
Nanny agencies confirm that virtually all their clients’ applications for foreign caregivers have been rejected. Families are finding that Canadians are not available for hire, either.
Minister of Employment and Social Development Pierre Poilievre claims to be proud of how fast his department is processing applications. He pointed out that parents who are rejected because they applied for a live-in-nanny will be refunded the $1,000 fee.
When told him parents who have met the government criteria have also been rejected, he didn’t budge.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently answered questions about this by making it clear he doesn’t like this type of employment arrangement.
Families and agencies affected feel that the government should simply end the live-in-caregiver program and all the frustration it’s causing.
Colin Singer Commentary:
This is yet another example of how the Harper government continues to promote misleading information in the face of restrictive immigration policies.