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Nanny Business, The

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Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Bishari Films
Closed Captioned: Yes
Running Time: 44 mins
Country of Origin: Canada
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2010
Available in French: No

From Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Shelley Saywell (Crimes of Honour) comes The Nanny Business: The Plight of Canada’s Imported Caregivers.

The Nanny Business explores the domestic labour market that brings over 5,000 women to Canada every year to serve as caregivers. These women, mostly escaping poverty in the Philippines, need to support the families they have left behind.
The nannies arrive in Canada under the government’s ‘Live-In Caregiver Program’ that gives them temporary visas, but stipulates that they must spend a minimum of two-years working and living in the homes of Canadian families before they can qualify for residency status. For many of these women that two-year period becomes a nightmare of long and gruelling workdays, below minimum wages and verbal or physical abuse.
The Nanny Business traces the story of Edelyn Pineda who left her three children behind and paid thousands of dollars to a recruitment agency to book her with a Canadian family. When she arrived, Edelyn discovered that the agent had taken her fee but the “employer” who signed her contract was not interested in her services.

Joelina Maluto came to Canada after working in Hong Kong and the Middle East. “I heard Canada was a good country and that after two years I could bring my children here.”  Instead, she arrived to find she had no job and was forced to live in her agent’s basement with 16 other nannies for the next two and a half months. When the agent finally got her a job, the employer forced her to work 18-hour days.
Edelyn and Joelina were among several nannies brave enough to go public about their experiences in the hope of forcing change. Their stories are put into wider context by journalist Susan McClelland, whose own search for a nanny led her to this story, and whose subsequent article “Nanny Abuse” for Walrus Magazine won an Amnesty Award.

2011 Gemini Nomination for Best Direction in a News Information Program or Series

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