Temporary Foreign Worker Program


Question Period – Your Question Period Senator Jane Cordy November 6th, 2014

Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, this question was submitted to me by Grace Davidson of Alberta. Grace and her husband are both in their seventies and they live on a fixed income. They're finding the new regulations in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program financially difficult for them when it comes to hiring caregivers to care for their disabled adult son. The Davidsons are unable to find caregivers in Canada, unfortunately, and they've had to turn to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to provide care and quality of life for their son.

Mrs. Davidson wrote to me:

I wholeheartedly agree with you that changes were required to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. And I applaud [the minister] for his firm stand against the fast food industry and other small business organizations who are taking advantage of this program and hiring foreign workers when possibly Canadians were available.

I do take exception, however, to the impact this change is having on the handicapped/disabled Canadian citizens. My son, aged 52, falls into this category. He suffers from secondary progressive multiple sclerosis for which there is no known cure nor medications to help/improve his condition. In my opinion, the hardship the current $1,000 fee imposes to my son who is on a small disability income could be considered as a human rights issue.

Did the government realize when the sweeping changes were made how the fee in particular would affect the disabled/handicapped and perhaps seniors who were disabled and required assistance with their daily living?

Will this government consider a separate category under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for caregivers who look after seniors or handicapped individuals who cannot care for themselves?

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