Olivia with Juana and her husband Noli.

Yesterday Migrante-Ontario, the Independent Worker’s Association (IWA), and associated groups celebrated Juana Tejada’s successful fight to gain permanent residence status. Juana is the live-in caregiver (LCP) that was denied status twice after she was discovered to have terminal cancer and deemed a burden to the Canadian healthcare system. (more…)

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It was wet, really wet, but I’m glad I was there to spend some time with some of my kababayans [countymen] at a campsite near Guelph, Ontario.

There were about fifty people there, caregivers on their one weekly day off, and members of Migrante-Ontario (and it’s member groups). It says alot about the Filipino people how high spirits were despite the weather and the difficult lives in which they live.

Filipina’s make up over 95% of the live-in caregivers in Canada, despite their struggles, most Canadians (including Canadian born Filipinos), know little about them. (more…)

Myk Miranda, Mithi Esguerra, and I were invited to speak on Radio Migrante (105.5FM) yesterday afternoon on the theme of migration and identity. For one hour every Tuesday from 4-5pm, York University Radio with host Marco Luciano of Migrante-Ontario runs this program about the Filipino migrant experience. (more…)

Canada is going to deport a Toronto-based Filipina live in caregiver because she has cancer.

She completed all the requirements of the live-in caregiver program, but when she underwent the manditory health check that comes with applying for permanent residency they discovered she had cancer. This discovery prompted the order for her to leave Canada.

As one Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) officer put it: “While I am sympathetic to your situation, I am not satisfied that these circumstances justify granting an exemption…. In the opinion of a medical officer, this health condition might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health and social services.” In otherwords, her cancer would cost Canadians too much money. (more…)

This is a quick follow-up on the piece I blogged last week about the accidental death of Rep. Crispin Beltran, a celebrated Filipino activist and politician.

Last Saturday, 24 May, Bayan-Ontario, Migrante-Ontario, and other Filipino human rights groups had a memorial to his memory at the University of Toronto. I wanted to share some images of this event. (more…)

Ka Bel leading a rally in Manila, Dec 2007.

Early Tuesday morning, progressive Philippine congressman Crispin Beltran (better known as Ka Bel) died after he sustained head injuries after a fall from the roof of his home that he was reparing. He was 75.

Ka Bel was one of the congresspersons (along with Satur Ocampo and Luz Illagan) who came to Canada in April of this year to talk to the community and the Cdn Parliament about the human rights problems in the homeland.

(more…)