Belated help for nannies

Belated help for nannies TheStar.com – Opinion/Editorial – Belated help for nannies
April 03, 2009

Live-in caregivers, or nannies, are among the most vulnerable workers in society. They are preyed upon by recruiting agencies that charge extortionate placement fees, exploit loopholes in federal laws and the virtual absence of provincial regulation, and play bait-and-switch games by holding out the prospect of secure jobs that mysteriously vaporize when the poorly paid foreign workers arrive in Canada.

Visitors to the Ontario Legislature yesterday might have assumed that the province was leading the charge on this issue as Liberal backbenchers heaped praise upon Labour Minister Peter Fonseca for his visionary and decisive leadership.

In fact, Fonseca was late to react. Last month, in response to a series in the Star by reporters Dale Brazao and Robert Cribb, Fonseca repeatedly threw up his hands and passed the buck to Ottawa. Now, with Ottawa and other provinces cracking down on abuse, Fonseca has grudgingly acknowledged that the ball is in his court. He has promised legislation by year’s end that would mirror the laws that came into force earlier this week in Manitoba.

Better late than never. But not the government’s finest hour.

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