Does rigid policy take being human out of the immigration to Canada equation?

A great editorial in the Hamilton Spectator this week reminds us all that immigration is about people, and that behind every application to immigrate to Canada there is a human being or family with a story.

The editorial tells of a family who moved to Canada from South Korea nine years ago and pays their bills and pays taxes here. But upon applying for permanent residency in Canada, they were denied because their son has autism.

The additional medical needs of a child with autism can be minimal compared to other medical needs – they may include therapy, additional support at school or even devices like an iPad to help with speech development and communication. The boy’s father has paid for and offered to pay for any additional requirements the boy has.

But because autism and other medical conditions have the potential to cost Canada’s health system money, the applications are automatically denied despite the father’s willingness to pay for it himself.

The family has built a life for themselves in Canada over the last near-decade, and will have to uproot that life if their decision isn’t reconsidered, simply because of a policy that doesn’t recognize this.

Of course Canada’s health system cannot be in place to be taken advantage of or strained, and the government needs to look out for potential abuses of the system. But that is simply not the case here.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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