“Okay, let’s do this”

Pinky’s pathway into Canada begins in Olongapo City in the Philippines. For many years, the Phillipines had followed a Labour Export Policy, a program intended to bring Filipino workers to foreign countries and outfit them with the skills required to secure contract work, stable employment and citizenship abroad. Pinky states, “It’s the Philippines who initiated something like that, because we cannot export anything except manpower.”

When she was considering the country which she would work, Pinky first wanted to go to the United States, as her brother and some relatives lived there. However, she changed her mind because, “… it’s taking so much time to…go there, and when I [saw] that the processing time to Canada [was] faster, [then] I [thought] ‘okay, let’s do this’.” Pinky completed live-in caregiver classes to qualify for the job. Upon arriving, Pinky explains that she was “released upon arrival” and was charged $3,000 to pay the employer who sponsored her. According to Pinky, this is “when your sponsor or employer released you right away because they’re not actually hiring you.”

Pinky was among those who actively campaigned to change the laws around recruitment agencies and employers collecting these fees.