Canadian families have always relied on domestic workers. This was true before Confederation, when Canadian families used Indigenous and Black women as slaves. This was also true afterwards, when the Canadian government recruited women from overseas to work as domestic workers. Due to its “white settler” policy, the Canadian government recruited British and Western European women to come as domestic workers because they were “mothers of the nation” and gave these women Canadian citizenship. In contrast, in the early and mid-1900s, women from the Caribbean came to Canada and were either individually sponsored by Canadian families or came under the Caribbean Domestics Scheme (CDS). Under the first and second CDS, which respectively took place between 1910 and 1911 and between 1955 and 1966, the Canadian government saw Caribbean “servants” as the beneficiaries of Canadian “generosity.” Most women under the first CDS were deported after their contracts whereas women under the second CDS could only apply for permanent residency (PR) after working for their employers for one year.

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