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Canadian Immigration Blog


Medically Inadmissible Family Speaks Out

April 4, 2012
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A recent news story highlighted the plight of a University of Victoria psychology instructor and his family who were denied permanent residency due to his four year old son’s autism.

The case has gotten attention for highlighting problems with the Canadian immigration system. The justification for rejecting the application was that autism treatment would be too costly.

Children with autism will generally be an excessive demand if viewing on a straightforward manner. I.e.: Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention Programs generally run about $70,000 per year; however this was discontinued in January 2010. Effective 1 April 2010 the Ministry provided funding in the amount of $22,000 annually for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder who are under six years of age. This is well over the threshold. Even still, past the age of six, Autism funding for children and youth (aged 6 to 18 years of age) continues at $6,000 per child, per year. Families may also be eligible for a range of other services and supports – including respite – through MCFD and Community Living British Columbia[1][1].

However if one were to employ a cost benefit analysis, given that both parents were employed full time and a large portion of funding for medical and social services is funded through taxes, then perhaps a plan could have been mitigated to overcome that excessive demand.

In addition, Mr. Neihaus’ wife is a registered thoracic nurse at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, B.C. There are the Country’s and provincial shortage of nurses to consider which CIC appears to have not contemplated. I.e.:

The decline in nursing graduates over the past years coupled with the aging of populations has created a void in the health services industry whereby the number of patients per nurse has increased to unmanageable proportions.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information maintains statistics on the number of physicians, nurses and other health professionals in Canada. For the year 2000, the Institute reports there were 232,000 registered nurses working in nursing in Canada. The ratio to 100,000 population ranged across the country from a low of 681 per 100,000 in British Columbia.

As of December 9, 2010, CIHI figures show there are actually fewer registered nurses today relative to the size of the population than there were 20 years ago. In 1992, there were 824 RNs for every 100,000 Canadians, compared to 789 per 100,000 in 2009[1]

Nurses in speciality areas are listed on the “Jobs in demand: Occupations that will experience high demand in BC in the coming decade”[2]


[1] www.cihi.ca/cihi-ext-portal/…/en/…/nurses/release_09dec2010

[2] http://www.bcjobs.ca/re/career-advice/career-advice-articles/career-planning/jobs-in-demand-occupations-that-will-experience-high-demand-in-bc-in-the-coming-decade


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