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Inclusion Alberta Applauds Federal Government’s Decision to End Immigration Laws that Discriminate Against Children and Adults with Disabilities

Published Monday, April 16, 2018

For Immediate Release 04/16/2018

Inclusion Alberta Applauds Federal Government’s Decision to End Immigration Laws that Discriminate Against Children and Adults with Disabilities

 

Edmonton, AB - Inclusion Alberta is pleased with the federal Liberal government’s announcement today that it is making changes to the medical inadmissibility provision of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, effectively ending its decades-old discriminatory process of denying adults and children with disabilities and their families admission into Canada on the basis of having a disability.

Bruce Uditsky, Inclusion Alberta CEO and parent of an adult son with developmental disabilities stated, “For decades we have worked with heartbroken families where one parent has come to Canada to work and create a better life but has been denied the opportunity for their family members to join them and become Canadians because one family member had a disability.  Because of the years it takes to battle Immigration Canada, we have witnessed children or siblings dying in their home countries before their entry to Canada was approved. It has been long past due when Canada’s bureaucratic wall of exclusion needed to fall.” 

Today’s changes include:

  • Increasing the cost threshold for medical inadmissibility (what is considered “excessive demand” on publicly funded health and social service programs) to 3 times the previous level, from $6,655/year to $20,000/year
  • Amending the definition of ‘social services’ by removing references to special education, social and vocational rehabilitation services and personal support services. This is of particular value to families of children with disabilities as they will no longer be denied on the basis that their child may require extra educational support or social services once arriving in Canada.

Barb MacIntyre, Inclusion Alberta President and parent of an adult son with developmental disabilities said, “The Federal government is to be commended for making very needed and recently promised changes to Canada’s immigration policies with respect to individuals with disabilities. Canada Immigration’s past discrimination against individuals with disabilities and their families who aspired to become Canadians was an insult to us all, suggesting we were all burdens to Canadian society.  In truth we are as necessary to sustaining and contributing to the fabric of Canadian society as anyone else and as such no less an equally valued and needed Canadian.”

Every year, approximately 1,000 permanent and temporary resident applications are rejected due to a medical inadmissibility finding, and it is anticipated that with these changes 75% of these will now be allowed, resulting in about 750 individuals with disabilities and their families being selected to immigrate to Canada on the same basis as everyone else: for the benefit their skills will bring to the Canadian economy.

Click to view Government of Canada news release

 

For more information, please contact:

Sara Protasow

Communicaitons Coordinator

Inclusion Alberta

sprotasow@inclusionalberta.org

780-906-4693

 

About Inclusion Alberta:  Inclusion Alberta is a family based, non-profit federation that advocates on behalf of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. Together, we share a dream of meaningful family life and community inclusion for individuals with developmental disabilities. As an advocacy organization we support families and individuals in their desire to be fully included in community life. To learn more, visit www.inclusionalberta.org


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