Philippine Showbiz Today Vol 14 No 6 - Page 9

Philippine Showbiz Today March 22 - April 7, 2019 Jan. 22-Feb.7, 2015 9 NDP MP Jenny Kwan talks opportunities for newcomers with  Liberal MP Gary Anandasangaree on TVO Political Blind Date For newcomers, the Canadian Dream is one of acceptance and equal opportunity, no matter their immigration status or place of origin. Are we really as equitable as we claim to be? How do our government policies make or break the Canadian Dream?  Airing this Thursday, the fifth episode of Political Blind Date, season 2, brings together NDP MP Jenny Kwan and Liberal MP Gary Anandasangaree to discuss the topic of opportunities for newcomers.  Each weekly half-hour installment of Political Blind Date explores a different issue by first inviting two politicians to plan a platonic date for one another. Each person introduces the other to interesting situations that best illustrate a point of view on the issue.  “The first season of Political Blind Date resonated with both audiences and critics because it created a unique opportunity for politicians to debate ideas and issues that matter to people in this province and country,” says John Ferri, Vice-President of Current Affairs and Documentaries at TVO. “The second season is equally energizing. No sound bites, no partisan bickering, just real people having honest, candid conversations.”  In this episode, Kwan introduces Anandasangaree to Jocelyn and Shirley, two caregivers from the Philippines. Through their stories, Kwan hopes to illustrate the human impact of what she considers to be unjust and inhumane immigration policies.  Kwan, who is the NDP critic for immigration, refugees and citizenship, states that since elected as a Member of Parliament, she had pushed the government to amend its immigration policies regarding caregivers, home support workers and other domestic workers. She connected with caregivers in cities all over Canada and brought their stories and experiences to the public eye through different channels. She repeatedly questioned the government on the topic in parliament and held numerous press conferences with different caregiver groups and organizations. Appearing on Political Blind Date was another attempt to bring public awareness to the caregivers’ plight.  Kwan states: “I am pleased to inform you that after the  promo of this episode was released, the government has announced major changes to the immigration policies pertaining to domestic workers.  In his statements to the press, the Immigration Minister highlighted Joycelyn’s heartbreaking story as a sample case of why changes needed to be made.  Clearly  the strong advocacy from the caregivers, migrant groups and the opposition have paid off.”  Caregiver Jocelyn was separated from her family for 13 years due to processing backlogs and immigration policies that kept families apart until the caregivers’ permanent resident application is approved. Kwan held a press conference jointly with Joycelyn in Toronto two years ago, bringing to light the harm that the government policies have had on her family and on other caregivers.  The caregivers’ stories and the public attention to their predicament pressured the government to amend its immigration policies, reducing the processing times for caregivers’ PR applications and allowing for families to remain together.  Political Blind Date is a TVO Original documentary series produced in association with Open Door Co. and Nomad Films. Viewers can also stream the show on TVO’s website at: https://www. political-blind-date/ep-5-the- promise-of-multiculturalism ●