On February 15th, 2018, I tabled Bill C-398 urgently calling on the Minister of Immigration to repeal an immigration law that discriminates against people with disabilities. The Minister of Immigration admitted that Section 38(1)(c) of the Immigration Refugee Protection Act goes against Canada's stated values on inclusion and the ideals we purportedly uphold as Canadians.
One family's permanent resident application was rejected because her son has Down Syndrome. It was rejected even though medical assessments state that he is capable of taking care of himself and is able to work in an unskilled and semi-skilled position.
This caregiver is a single mother who has been separated from her children for nearly a decade while she takes care of other people's children. She stated: "I always thought Canada did not discriminate against people because they are different. I thought Canada had protections for people who are different."
Every member of the Immigration committee agree that the law needs to be repealed.
The time to act is now. This is discriminatory law needs to be repealed.
I had the opportunity to address these issues once again with the Minister, when he appeared at the Committee to discuss Canada’s Immigration Levels Plans. I was incredibly disappointed that Minister casually suggested that families will be stuck with their lives in limbo until the last possible moment the Minister has to respond to the Committee report, April 12, 2018. While the Minister may have the luxury to wait, these families don’t.
I rose in the House of Commons during Question Period to ask the Minister again, would he commit to adopt my Bill as a government Bill and end this injustice.
Once again, despite acknowledging that he knows this policy does not align with Canadian values and needs to change, he refused to commit to taking action. Instead, he pointed to his consultation process. For 2 years he’s been consulting. Still there is no action.
The Minister may not feel the urgency to act, but the families do. Their untold pain and suffering needs to end.