Permanent worker, temporary resident: media representations of Canada's Live-in Caregiver Program




Gilliland, Julia Sarah Jane

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The Live-in Caregiver Program is a temporary foreign worker program that allows workers to come to Canada in order to labour as private caregivers for children, the elderly, and disabled individuals. This program allows caregivers to apply for permanent residency after the successful completion of 24 months of full time work. There are a number of scholars, advocacy groups, former caregivers, and other parties that have raised concerns about certain regulations of this program. For example, caregivers under this program have an employer-specific work permit, must live in the homes of the employers, and have no external monitoring of their work environments. Subsequently, the Live-in Caregiver Program has been seen as problematic because of the high number of abusive labour situations. This thesis is dedicated to an analysis of how the Canadian news print media represents the Live-in Caregiver Program. Although there has been much research done on migrant care work within Canada, and around the world, there are few studies on how the news media construct arguments that describe these transnational labour flows. The main topics that guided the research questions for this thesis were: temporary foreign worker programs; citizenship status; globalized, gendered, and racial stereotypes; the live-in regulation; employer specific work permits, and power relations in the labour relationship. This research was not geared to proving or disproving the main findings of key migrant domestic worker literature, rather it was focused on how these conclusions are interpreted, transferred and argued within a publically accessible format, Canadian news print media. This analysis revealed how journalists within Canadian news media construct important cultural narratives to persuade audiences to either reject the LCP as exploitative and problematic, or embrace it as economically beneficial.



Live-in Caregiver Program, Newspaper Articles