Today a friend of mine posted on facebook about being sad to see the forced departure of one her friends and their families from the country. My friend's friend is a nurse - she works at a local hospital. Her husband is a University of Victoria Psychology Professor. They have two young children and moved to Canada from California in 2010.
They were planning on making their lives in Canada. They were planning on raising their kids here.
So why are they leaving? Are they criminals? Have they evaded their taxes? Why would this family be unwelcome in our country?
Apparently, because the toddler was diagnosed with Autism in 2010 - they are "ineligible for permanent residency as they're son's autism is likely to place a strain on the health care system." As a result, they will be leaving Canada in November and returning to the US.
How is this good policy? How is it that the loss of a nurse isn't considered an equal strain on the health care system? How is the loss of the taxes this family is likely to pay over their course of their lives here not also an equal strain on the health care system? How is punishing a toddler and his entire family for having a medical condition fair?
If the child's condition had remained undiagnosed until permanent residency had been established they would be allowed to stay - so how is it good policy to create an incentive for families who have recently arrived in our country to delay seeking treatment because it would jeopardize their chances of remaining in the country?
There are days when I'm less proud of being Canadian - when I'm less proud of our health care system. This is one of those days.
A clip of this story can be found here.