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Making Waves

Canada's Treatment Of Disabled Immigrants


By Ross Kentner

For years now Canadian Prime Ministers have been criss-crossing the country, handing out millions and apologizing for our misdeeds as a nation.  Most recently Prime Minister Trudeau has apologized to the students of Newfoundland and Labrador Residential Schools and to the LGBTQ community.  Makes you wonder, "Where was I when these abuses took place?" Take the "60's Scoop" ripping indigenous children from their families for adoption.  I was already reading news on radio.  There seemed to be a constant supply of these children.  I never thought of how they came to be wards of the government.  

You don't suppose there is anything going on at present that a prime minister will be apologizing for in 2030 or sooner?  It wouldn't surprise me.  One of the most insensitive things we've been doing is deporting immigrant families when a mother, father or child is determined to have a pre-existing illness that is deemed a drain on our health care system.  In some cases these families face persecution in their homeland.  It's about as inhumane a policy as any country could have, let alone Canada.  Turns out it contravenes United Nations rules on the rights of the disabled, and yet we have turned a blind eye to the suffering if causes.

The threshold for these decisions is arbitrary...any amount above the average annual cost of a person's health and social services...$6,655 a deemed "excessive."     Totally overlooked is what a person can contribute to society irrespective of a disability.  In effect, the Canadian government stereotypes immigrants with disabilities at the same time it is supposedly fighting the stereotyping of anyone with a disability.  Cheaper to change the policy now and also much more enlightened.

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