Posted in Canada, Caregiver, Community, family, news, Parenting, urbandaddyblog

Former live-in caregiver jailed for exploiting migrants who wanted to follow in her footsteps to Canada.

A woman who came to Canada from the Philippines as a live-in caregiver has been jailed for exploiting would-be immigrants in a stiff sentence designed to thwart a wave of bogus immigration consulting. “She lied to them, cheated them, and, in some cases, even threatened them. By doing so, not only did she harm the…

via Former live-in caregiver jailed for exploiting migrants who wanted to follow in her footsteps to Canada — National Post – Top Stories

This is such a shame!  Taking advantage of those in need is terrible and not the Canadian way.

Posted in news, politics

‘Immense’ pressure on Philippine military in manhunt for terrorists who killed Ridsdel — National Post – Top Stories

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine military came under increased pressure Tuesday to rescue more than 20 foreign hostages after their Muslim extremist captors beheaded a Canadian man, but troops face a dilemma in how to succeed without endangering the remaining captives. Abu Sayyaf gunmen beheaded John Ridsdel on Monday in the southern province of Sulu.…

via ‘Immense’ pressure on Philippine military in manhunt for terrorists who killed Ridsdel — National Post – Top Stories.

This is huge news not only because of the stance that then Liberal leader Justin Trudeau took regarding these terrorists (lets hug them and find out why they’re so pissed off) when he was criticizing then Prime Minister Stephen Harper but also because a Canadian was taken hostage 6-months ago and we’re just learning now that he’s been murdered.

Shame on these murderers for kidnapping innocent people – especially Canadians – and killing them when they don’t get their money.  I think in the same way that these thugs think it’s okay to force people to trade lives for money, the Philippines needs to get their act together and fast to find each and everyone of these criminals, and bring them to justice… alive!  This way the message will be send to anyone who thinks this is okay that it’s really not.

This way the family of the poor Canadian who was killed can look at his murderers in the face and spit in their face if they want knowing they won’t be getting money to buy more weapons, buy influence and continue to live outside the law.

This way PM JT will be able to save face by having taken clear actions to try to save this mans’ life plus the life of the other Canadian held hostage instead of just saying that the bad guys are going to pay for this when nothing can be done.

I think as global citizens, we’re all getting pretty pissed off and annoyed with these thugs and their weapons trying to spread fear and violence wherever and whenever they wanted.  Don’t the governments of these areas realize the drop in tourism and the reputational damage that they suffer from after this lawlessness?!?  Do they even care, or are they being bought off??

Enough already.  These people are not a group, they’re not a gang, I don’t care who they support, what they stand for or what they hope to accomplish.  They’re murderers and they need to be caught and brought to justice… NOW!


Posted in Life

How Time Flies: Happy 3rd Birthday Boo.

Wow. Time really does fly.

It seems like only yesterday when I was trying to figure out how to gear up for a tax-reporting season with our daughter on the way and unlike our previous two children, I was in no position to take any time off to spend with my family.

Then she arrived.

Now, today, she turned three years old!

Happy birthday Boo!

… and yes, girls are easier… at this age.  🙂

So, Boo had her birthday party last Thursday because our nanny, Gamay, headed off today for a 7-week vacation back home in the Philippines and we wanted to make sure she was here for Boo’s birthday. Gamay has been with us since Stewie was almost 3-years-old, or around 3 1/2 years and her and Boo are quite the team.  Boo tickles her and Gamay has taught Boo how to speak, count and sing in Tagalog.  The two of them run upstairs in the mornings only to return 20 minutes later and Boo’s hair is braided and clipped up in a wonderfully different way each time, the teachers and Boo’s school can’t wait to see what style Boo will be sporting each day.  LOL.

When asked what she wanted for her birthday, Boo replied, “Hello Kitty cupcakes, cake and green beans”.  So easy to buy for.  I baked somewhere near 120 medium cupcakes for her party which my wife decorated the day before the event,  Teamwork!

The funny thing about having a birthday party for a three-year-old before her birthday, then taking her out for her birthday dinner on her actual birthday is that she thought she had 2 birthdays this year, the party being her birthday and tonight’s dinner out being her “other” birthday.

The only hiccup today was Linus trying to explain to her that she was still 2, until after 11pm because she was born that late at night. She kept checking with us, “Am I still 2?” and the more we tried to explain, the more upset she got. So we gave up and said, “yes, today is your birthday and you are three”.

Having a three-year-old means we finally get to push through some parenting improvements her way, like getting her away from asking us to feed her when she’s lazy, or asking us to take off her shoes every now and then.  She’s 3 now.  She has been sleeping commando for a couple of month now, but we agreed when she turned 3, she could get out of her bed in the middle of the night if she needed to pee instead of calling for me and waking up the house.

That might result in sleep…


So aside from that, it’s amazing to see what an awesome little girl she has turned in to.  Still a much smaller version of my wife, Boo loves to sing, loves the colour pink, her Hello Kitty’s, elephants, unicorns and her brothers.  She looks more and more like she’s going to be left-handed like me and I think she’s going to be my only hockey player.

She’s sweet, she’s fun, she’s awesome and she’s 3.

Posted in Life

Getting Started with the Canadian Live-In Caregiver Program

I receive quite a few emails and comments each week on the Canadian Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP) and the majority of them surround how to participate in the program, from the perspective of a potential foreign worker and from potential employers.

I try to be very up front and honed when I discuss this topic – especially when I say that I do recommend the use of a nanny agency – as the rules and regulations have been getting more and more specific and with that more and more complicated over the years.  The Conservative government has put measures in place to make it less desirable for foreign workers to abuse the system and have absolutely clamped down on abusive employers.  The government has also tightened up requirements on nanny agencies making sure they have immigration consultants on their staff as well as an immigration lawyer.  If anyone is going to be able to get the caregivers over to Canada properly and navigate through the rules, it’s an agency.

With all this tightening, we are left with two very clear facts;

1.  You have to have money to hire a live in caregiver.  The government has been known to reject single parents with income of less than $70,000.00 per year and couples with a combined income of less than $100,000.00 per year, as reported on their personal taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  They ask for a copy of your previous 2 years’ notices of assessment (NOA’s) to ensure you are telling the truth.

The main reason behind the minimum salary requirements is quite simple.  Too many nannies came forward complaining at having not been paid and / or were being paid much less than minimum wage.  The government is trying to change people’s perspectives through the LCP that these people (mainly women) are foreign workers, not nannies, and as such, the employers will be less likely to take advantage of then re: wages, working conditions, tasks, hours, vacation time, etc.  Companies who abuse their foreign workforce get sued.

The downfall of the high salary requirement for employers obviously is that a single mom, for example, who needs to get out into the workforce to provide for her family cannot afford to hire a nanny through the program and instead resorts to daycare or hiring a nanny under the table, which generally means being paid in cash.  Cash is great for not paying taxes and not having to perform the monthly remittance to the government however without an official record trail of being employed in Canada and paying into the system, when that caregiver finds themselves unemployed, they are not eligible to claim EI and are forced to take a low paying job somewhere else in order to keep the income flowing.  If they are in the LCP, they are not getting credit for time served.

2. The  second thing this tightening of screws does, is it pushes any potential employer towards a nanny agency in order to ensure they complete the paperwork and get through all the new requirements.  When we sponsored our first nanny – over 7 years ago – there were only two pages of paperwork required and through our agency, The Wee Care Placement Agency,, we jointly completed the paperwork and went through the next steps together.  I spoke to the government, they asked the questions I was now expecting and I gave them the answers they needed to hear to know we needed a nanny and would treat them with respect and in the same way we expect them to treat our kids.

It’s an intimidating process to say the least, at least it was back in 2004 when we started sponsoring nannies, and it’s been getting that much more complicated as we continued sponsoring nannies once our nannies completed the program and went off into the workforce.

Nowadays, the documentation needed is upwards of 18 pages long, and the requirement to advertise on the job bank is also quite specific, let alone figuring out the logistics around the paying for the ticket of this potential nanny to come to Canada – hoping they will stay with you, or that you mesh together…  It’s not so easy anymore to do on your own.  One mistake or omission could set back your nannies anticipated arrival by days, weeks, months or worse, permanently and land you on the banned employer list.

It’s also easier when going through an agency to find out why a nanny coming from the Philippines needs a year and proof of travel being paid for, while a nanny coming from Hong Kong can be here in half that time.  Most agencies also provide a guarantee so if you do sponsor through them and the nanny bails or you find they do not mesh with your family, you have 3 months to sort this out,

An additional bonus to having an agency on your side is as a resource to ask when you are unsure of overtime amounts to be paid or duties which can and cannot be performed, or about how to address performance issues, or vacation request, sick requests or open permits.  I called Wee Care to discuss the newest regulations and it helped me write this post.  It was money well spent back in 2004 and we continue to have a relationship to this day.

So if I was being asked again to provide my thoughts on how to move forward through the LCP, my advice would be to speak to an agency.  It’s worth every penny and you’ll keep going back over and over again.  As a matter of fact, in the 7 years which we have sponsored 4 nannies we have done them all through Wee Care and for us the program suited our needs it got to the point where they knew what kind of caregiver we needed and they brought us a couple to meet and interview along our guidelines and one remains with us.

But you do not hae to take my word for it.  Read up on the guidelines online at the CRA and Immigration Canada websites on what is required, then you too will probably come to the realization that you will need an agency to assist you though this process.

Good luck.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them here and if I cannot answer them, I will forward them along to the amazing folks at Wee Care for their expert opinions.