Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 28, 2000
Nanny faces big bill to return to Canada
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
Leticia Cables is hoping the moral support she has received the past six months turns into financial support as she heads home to the Philippines.
The nanny, who sought sanctuary in St. Anthony's Church after the federal immigration office issued a deportation order, has asked for financial help while she reapplies for admission to Canada.
After weeks of defying a deportation order and pleading for a ministerial permit from Immigration Minister Elinor Caplan, Cables agreed to leave the country Feb. 29.
The former nanny violated a work permit by working for more than one employer. Cables said she was encouraged to take on additional work by her former employer, a city lawyer.
Cables' supporters are helping to raise funds to help her return to Canada under the Live-in Caregiver program, the same program by which she initially entered Canada. The cost of the application is expected to be around $2,000.
The immigration department will pay for Cables' $1,200 airfare, but if she returns to Canada, she will be required to pay it back as well as paying for the return flight.
"There is also the cost of the plane ticket back here, when her application is accepted," said Swee-Hin Toh, a supporter who has stood by Cables' side for the past six months. "That's a lot of money."
Although her lawyer worked pro bono, Toh said Cables faced about $1,500 in other legal costs.
Cables said there is also a matter of about $3,000 of income she says is owed to her by her former employer for which she is negotiating with Alberta Department of Human Resources, Employment and Labour Standards.
On the plus side, a $3,000 fee which Cables paid when she applied for landed immigrant status will be reimbursed.
"So she'll have a little money to take home with her," Toh said.
Toh had been instrumental in planning several fundraising luncheons last year, which raised more than $1,500 for Cables. He hopes to continue with similar initiatives.
"We need to show solidarity for someone who has suffered a lot," Toh said. "She's had a lot of courage through all of this."
Cables left the Philippines for Hong Kong 15 years ago to work as a nanny, while her husband stayed home to raise their two children. She came to Canada in 1995 and hasn't seen her family for more than two years.
She doesn't expect to find work upon her return to the Philippines and worries about her family's welfare during the time it will take for her application to process, which generally takes six months to a year.
Donations for Cables will be accepted through St. Anthony's Church and Changing Together-A Centre for Immigrant Women.