John-Paul Abelshauser

The Nanny Effect: The impact of Canada’s Live-in Care program on Filipino-Canadian Identity

By John-Paul Abelshauser
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The Live-in Caregiver program (LCP) has provided tens of thousands of migrant workers an indirect path towards Canadian citizenship.  Nowhere has the response to the call been as great as from the tiny Southeast Asian country of the Philippines. Studies have observed the negative effects this access to cheap labour has had on the lives of individual Filipino-Canadians: as undervalued servants, many employers including high profile government Ministers, have been exposed for not only abuse of the program, but for human rights abuses as well.  None of these studies, however, have examined the larger effect the program has had on Filipino self-identity and community formation.  How has primary identification of the Filipino-Canadian as “domestic” muted the Filipino-Canadian experience, relegating their participation within the Canadian narrative to the back of the proverbial bus?  Through an examination of the requirements of the LCP and their impact as expressed by Filipina workers, this paper argues for the need of additional study addressing the entrenched stigmatization the program has unintentionally imposed on the Filipino nanny, and their ability to be seen as equal citizens in Canadian society.

Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP), Filipino, Stigma, Nanny, Canada

Born in Cote-des-Neiges, one of Montreal’s most culturally diverse and exciting arrondissments, John-Paul bases much of his inspiration for cultural inclusion on his connection to this place he knows as home.  Majoring in History, John Paul received his Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University; he then went on to complete a Bachelor’s of Education degree at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI),   where he received the “Graduate Promise Award.”  He is currently a Master’s student in Canadian Studies at Carleton University, where he has just completed his first year.

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