Starting over in Canada
“My parents came to Canada to find a better life and to support their families back home.”
I’d say that statement is true for about 99% of most immigrant families. Growing up here in Canada, I’m not sure how many of us actually think about what that sacrifice means. The practice of leaving home and going to work abroad is a reality for almost all Filipinos who hope for a better life. Even today, Canada is recruiting 1.8 million foreign workers over the next 10 years, and to facilitate that, the provincial governments of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta have all signed labour agreements with the Philippines. That means more men and women leave their families behind in the hopes of reuniting again in the future, sometimes many years later.
This post isn’t really about the politics surrounding the labour agreements. Nor is it really about the state of affairs back home in the Philippines. It’s about the idea of love and sacrifice that many of our parents have demonstrated by the sheer act of coming to Canada. And it’s about sharing this wonderful radio piece that one of our KPC family, the lovely and talented Marie Beath Badian, produced last month for the CBC. GIve it a listen. And remember to call your mom.
In 1967, Marie Beath Badian’s mother came from the Philippines to work as a nurse in a small town in Saskatchewan. 40 years later Marie Beath takes her mother on a return trip to Prince Albert and Arborfield, Saskatchewan to get a sense of her mother’s beginnings in Canada. In the process she gains a greater understanding of the sacrifices her mother made to help those around her.
Producer: Kent Hoffman