I was just switching to Pinoy Dreams segment today (March 13, 2016)  at Pinoy Radio when I heard the Host, Judith Gonzales choked up on her pleadings to support the petition she and others have initiated to clear the Canadian immigration backlog of about 48,000 applications for permanent resident status for Caregivers which has been in the system longer than it should.

Why Ms. Judith Gonzales is very passionate about this campaign is her own experience as a Caregiver in coming to Canada; losing her marriage and for her children suffering over prolonged waiting to be reunited.

I can write this narratives with eyes closed because I was a Caregiver myself when I came to this country. Edmonton is considered my home as my rubber shoes skidded on a knee- deep snow in Millwoods hauling my luggage to my new employment. I remember being served a hot soup on a bowl by my employers. Boy, wasn’t it too hot my tears started streaming. But that was part of my new environment; eating roti like a pro.

But even before I came to this country, I was always actively involved on issues with my fellow OFWs through my writings. This is my biggest campaign tool to ensure I am and those many others be heard, loud and clear. It’s like giving my Editor-in-Chief prior to my flight to Canada a bombshell about money lenders using passports as collateral and agencies conniving with loan sharks to force newly arrived OFWs to apply for loans. The result was a sweeping roundup by that country’s police force confiscating all passports they kept for collateral and return it to the Philippine Embassy in that country. What a shame it was.

I seldom write a stinging article because when I do, it has to hit the mark. Why would I not tweet a priest who treated our youth indifferently? But at the end of it, there is that thing called ‘reconciliation.’ All things will be water under the bridge after a flood of inconvenient truths.

So why am I blogging about the Petition to clear the backlogs for Caregivers? Because now it matters. Our community will be thankful for Judith Gonzales of Pinoy Dreams Radio Show, Faye Arellano- a journalist, and Analyn Aryo, co- host of Pinoy Dreams for initiating this huge task of rallying Filipinos in Canada and the world to help our Caregivers get their long awaited permanent status and let them be reunified with their families and let them live a normal life with their loved ones right here.

It will not be about politics because it is now the Liberals under Minister John McCallum who is looking into what’s wrong with the system and for the backlogs to be cleared. This is a step in the right direction because then someone will be doing something for the mothers who came as Caregivers to finally be free from the bondage of flawed immigration system.

Caregivers under the Live-In Caregiver Program are supposed to be given landed status at the completion of 24 months. This LCP (Live-In Caregiver Program) is one of the easiest channel to find employment in Canada. It helps Canadian families go to work at the same time, have a Caregiver nurture their children. Caregivers are important to Canadian families. It is reminiscent of my Edmonton employers who were both surgeons. They left home early and sometimes they can’t come home early at the end of day. They rely on the Caregiver, like me, for the love and care of their children. I’m not a mother but the love developed at this point of being a Caregiver is sublime. You will eventually love their children and watch them like a hawk when the parents are not around.

Most Caregivers have families back home. They have husbands and children who misses them and long to be with them. Some Caregivers lost their footing and fall prey on bad elements. Two years and a couple of months of waiting for the processing of their applications for landed status isn’t that bad. But when it stretches up to 10 years of waiting, let me call it a  mess and a failure on the part of the Canadian immigration.

There are so many problems that goes along with the LCP. There are so many people with vested interests who ruined it; unscrupulous individuals faking documents to process applicants for large sum of money is one factor that made the government tighten the rules. Let me add a Minister who branded LCP as a means to get families to enter Canada. But he missed the point as to how the reunification of families of Caregivers help build the Canadian economy because Caregivers are paying taxes right on their first salary.

FAMILY REUNIFICATION which is the top priority of this petition to grant landed status of the applicants in the backlogs. We believe that Caregivers need our support and signing the petition will help their cause be represented to the government.

Sign the online petition or sign the paper form. I think at one point in our lives we need to stand up for something.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION. Once it reaches its threshold, it will be submitted to the government.