In our written submissions to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s consultation on the future of immigration in Canada, we focussed on Section 38(1)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).
This section sets out that an individual is inadmissible to Canada if they will cause an excessive demand on health and social services in the five to ten year period after they become permanent residents. The Regulations define excessive demand as a demand for health services that exceeds the per capita health services of the average Canadian. The current threshold is $6,450.00 per year.
This inadmissibility applies to principal applicants in addition to their family members – whether or not those family members are actually accompanying them to Canada. There are exemptions for Convention refugees, protected persons and their accompanying spouses and dependent children, as well as spousal sponsorships and dependent children who are sponsored by their parents.
Due to the high cost of the majority of antiretroviral medications, people living with HIV are generally medically inadmissible under this Section and their applications will be refused, unless they are in one of the exempt categories.
We recommend repealing the Section.
In the alternative, we recommend that there be a comprehensive review of the excessive demand provision and the procedures for determining excessive demand that:
- considers the context of the outdated and discriminatory attitudes that the provision perpetuates;
- considers whether the provision actually furthers the goals of the Canadian immigration system (including whether it furthers its own purported goal of controlling health care costs);
- considers operational considerations such as the method of determining the excessive demand cost threshold, what factors are considered in the excessive demand assessment, and how to streamline the process; and
- includes consultation with people with disabilities and medical conditions and the organizations that work with and represent them.
You can read our submission on our website: www.halco.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/HALCO-submission-Immigration-Consultation-2016Aug.pdf.
If you are living with HIV in Ontario, you can contact us for free legal advice.