Government to put forth plan ending policy that rejects immigrants on medical grounds by April

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said today he will present a plan by April to kill an outdated policy that excludes immigrants based on their medical conditions  but the NDP wants quicker action to end the “discriminatory” clause.

NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan held a news conference today calling on the government to repeal a section of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that allows applicants to be rejected because they could impose an “excessive demand” on the health care system.

She said the issue has been on the government’s radar since 2016, yet the “discriminatory” policy that causes “heartache and hardship” remains.

“Still there’s no action,” Kwan said.

The House of Commons studied the issue last fall, when Hussen told the immigration committee the government was committed to ditching the 40-year-old policy. He said at the time it “does not align with our country’s values of inclusion of person with disabilities in Canadian society.”

Today, Hussen said the government is working on a response and will present its plan by April 12.

Hussen made the remarks today during an appearance before the immigration committee, where took a wide range of questions on the government’s immigration targets.

Maurice Tomlinson, senior policy analyst at The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, warned that the government must repeal the clause, not rework it.