Volpe to speed up family reunification into Canada

Community News & Features Jun 16, 2005 at 8:01 pm

TORONTO–Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has announced plans to streamline the entry of immigrants from the Philippines in a move meant to reunite families together in Canada.

Immigration Minister Joe Volpe addressing members of the Filipino community at the 107th Philippine Independence Day Council (PIDC)-Kalayaan 2005 Gala Night event at the International Plaza Hotel on Dixon Rd. last Saturday, June 11, said that CIC Canada aims to speed up the reunification of families with emphasis on sponsored parents, grandparents and children below 21 years of age.

“There’s no more need for applicants in the family class category to be moving away from Canada to make the application,” Minister Volpe indicated. This refers, he said, to out of status family members who are in Canada. The move, he said, comes from the recognition that community growth is based upon a strong family foundation. “Canada recognizes that reciprocal relation.”

In addition, Canada, he said, appreciates the contribution of the Filipino community- its altruism, hard work and entrepreneurship-and we express our sincere thanks. “You have toiled to make Canada a better place and together with other Canadians you have made Canada the best country in the world,” he added.

Speaking on the role of Filipino migrant women, the immigration minister heaped praise on women from the Philippines who sacrificed themselves, leave the comfort of their homes and loved ones to come to Canada, work as caregivers and health workers and support their families back home. “They are the modern heroes of Canadian Society.”

Minister Volpe interviewed by the Philippine Reporter, also indicated that he is willing to grant an audience to the Community Alliance for Social Justice advocating issues regarding the Live-in Caregiver Program. “I have been a Minister only for the past four months and there are so many things I have to do in my department. There are things that need to be changed,” he said.

Canadian statistics indicate that many Filipino migrant women in Canada worked as caregivers and nurses. Ninety percent of Live-in Caregivers in Canada are Filipinos, majority of whom are women. The Filipino populationin Canada is estimated at 309,000 in the 2001 census. It is projected to grow to around more than half a million by 2017.

Ontario’s Premier Dalton McGuinty whose speech was read during the Gala Night Event said that Filipinos have much to celebrate – including the many vital contributions of the community to the social, economic and cultural fabric of the province.

“Filipinos who have chosen Canada as their new home bring with them the heritage and traditions of a country that has been shaped by great diversity and a unique blending of eastern and western cultures. We need more Filipinos in Canada.”