The Ministry of Labour intends to look into the circumstances of an on-the-job death of a Filipino nanny in November.

Friends of Marites Angana were at Queen's Park Friday morning demanding the province treat live-in caregivers and migrant workers the same way as other workers.

Currently, domestic work is not covered by the province's Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Marites Angana

Marites Angana in a Facebook photo before she died. (Marites Angana/Facebook)

"We want Marites' death to be a reminder that caregivers and migrant workers live here, work here, fall sick here and sometimes die here. Ontario laws must protect us too," said Liza Draman of the group Caregivers Action Centre at the press conference Friday.

Ernie Puguon of the Ifugao Association of Canada, also on hand to advocate for Angana, said he received a call from the ministry saying there would be an investigation of the incident.

But the ministry does not have the right to enforce any decision under the current laws. A statement from the ministry reads: "This is a unique situation and the ministry is determining if it falls under its jurisdiction."

The group's demands include:

  • The inclusion of domestic workers in Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • Full Workplace Safety and Insurance Board coverage for all domestic workers.
  • Provision of the choice and means for all injured migrant workers to stay in Ontario for health care.
  • Compensation for migrant workers in cases of injury.

Angana, who travelled to Ontario to take a job as live-in caregiver this summer, suffered a head injury from a fall in her employer's garage on Nov. 28 and she died of a brain hemorrhage on Dec. 2 at Toronto Western. She left behind a 13-year-old son who lives in Philippines. 

"Marites was the sole breadwinner of a poor family," said Puguon. "She was a domestic helper all her life."

Friends of Angana hired a lawyer who is currently getting more information about the circumstances of her death.

A fund has been created allow Angana's family in the Philippines to repatriate her body and have a funeral. Cheques can be sent to Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, 18 Thorncliffe Park Drive, Toronto, ON M4H 1N7.