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House of Commons urges IRCC to Revoke Excessive Demand Rule

December 2017, 14
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The Parliamentary committee in Canada has recommended that the controversial section, of IRCC Act, which refuses, entry to such immigrants, who are likely to cause an excess demand, on the healthcare system of the country, must be repealed.

The Citizenship and Immigration Standing Committee, of the House of Commons, held a hearing, regarding the medical inadmissibility provisions, and Section 38-1C of the Act. Under the section 38-1C, a potential immigrant can be regarded not worthy of admission, owing to health grounds, when their health condition, may rationally be expected, to cause an excess demand, on the social health services of the country.

Excessive demand is a demand for which, the probable costs would exceed, average Canadian per head health services and social services cost, in the future 5- 10-years, or which would aggravate present waiting time to avail health and social services in Canada.

For the year 2017, the threshold of cost for any demand to be regarded excessive was $6,655in each year totalling to $33,275 in five years.

In the hearings, the standing committee expressed that the Section 38-1C did not synchronize with the Canadian values and at variance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This Convention of Rights was ratified by Canada in 2010.

With this provision remaining in the IRCC Act, the report said that the immigration laws will violate human rights, of future newcomers in Canada unjustifiably, and will be inconsistent, with the modern values, professed by Canada, as protections to the contemporary human rights.

The standing committee made five recommendations for the IRCC Act, demanding the full repeal of Section 38-1C, with its exemptions included, and also of all corresponding regulations. It also called the IRCC to repeal all corresponding guidelines and policies which are associated with Section 38-1C.

Ahmed Hussen Immigration Minister of Canada stated that all options regarding the provision of excessive demand, including its repeal, were on the table. Its review was not only necessary but was long overdue. It had completed 40 years of existence and had to be molded as per the demands of the 21st century.

He went on to say that “As far as the principled perspective is concerned, the present provision of excessive demand fails to align with the values of the country as well as with the inclusion of persons having disabilities in Canada.” IRCC was in consultation with governments of the provinces and territories to decide the mode of going forward about Section 38-1C.

The full repealment will involve time, and so the committee recommended that a few interim measures should be adopted so that the application of the excessive demand is improved.

These measures are giving Proper training for officers, to assessing the rationality of the recommendations, of the medical officer; and that these medical officers are appropriately trained, to assess the application of the person.

  • A review by IRCC of the method to calculate the cost threshold for such demand on health and social services, by eliminating the services that are not funded by the government,
  • to make sure that the cost threshold for excessive demand on health and social services is considered by economists based on data pertaining to the province or territory,
  • opting, for expanding the categories of exemptions, which exist in the provision of excessive demand for considering economic applicants, (and their family members), who are already working in Canada,
  • Provide applicants with appropriate decisions and procedural fairness letters, written in a simple language and comprehensive in nature, containing justifications, to fully inform them regarding the findings they need to address to prevail over the finding of excessive demand.
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