Thursday, May 20, 2010

Canadian federal court says French family must leave country because of daughter with CP

From the Toronto Sun in Canada:

OTTAWA, Canada – A French family denied permanent residence in Canada because one of the kids has cerebral palsy may have to leave the country following a federal court decision Tuesday.

David Barlagne (pictured) has been working in Montreal since July, 2005. He applied for permanent residence status for his family but was turned down because of the extra costs of putting his daughter Rachel (pictured), who has cerebral palsy, through elementary and secondary school.

Under Canadian law, immigration officials have no choice but to deny applicants whose health condition could cause excessive demand on social services. Barlagne appealed but the federal court upheld the original decision.

Laurie Beachell, spokesman for the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, says the government isn't looking at the potential of immigrants with disabilities.

“For Canadians with disabilities who are living here, it's a slap in the face. It basically says you are of lesser value and if you hadn't been born here we wouldn't want you.”

Barlagne and his family can apply to stay based on compassionate grounds, but a spokesman for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says Barlagne hid Rachel's disability on his original application.

“All relevant factors, including the fact that ... the disability was concealed ... would be considered in a humanitarian and compassionate application,” Alykhan Velshi wrote in an e-mail to QMI Agency.