One of the fundamental underpinnings of the concept of “inadmissibility due to excessive demand” is the idea that people who are different are also liabilities to Canadian society. This is reflected in the very process – in which only costs are considered, not added value, for example – and represents a deep-seated bias. Even more peculiar is the idea that in some cases this excessive demand can be waived – for example, in the sponsored spousal class.
Of course, I’m dealing with this in my own case, as it is at the heart of the medical inadmissibility decision process: let’s look at costs above all else. I must admit, I do understand the need to try and balance contributions against expenditures, but the law in this area is crazy – CIC turns it into an adversarial process, in which they say “sorry, but you might cost us too much money” and then makes you go figure out HOW they reached that decision (they certainly don’t tell you) and come up with some argument they might find persuasive. If you guess wrong, you lose and you are rejected.
For example, in my case I’ve struggled to find out how much they think the meds are going to cost. Not even the clinic in Vancouver can tell me the actual cost of these meds (and I’ve asked.) I know what I can pay to buy them in the open market. I’ve even gone so far as to research patent expiration dates to find drugs that are NOT covered by Canadian patents any longer and thus should be about the same cost as the generics I can find priced on the internet. There are treatment options at around $2,000 per year. But because I cannot find out the costs the government pays, I can’t even argue that their assessment is wrong – all I can do is say “ok, I have enough insurance to pay 100% of the cost” to which they reply “we know you’re just saying that and as soon as you can you’re going to jump on the gravy train…” Nothing quite as inspirational as a process that automatically assumes you are a liar. Of course, I’m not and I signed an unconditional affidavit saying I would pay the costs of the medications should they be necessary. So I consider that no matter what the outcome, I am bound by that oath.
At any rate, last night I read this interesting article on the refusal of a parental sponsored application because they have an adult daughter with Down’s Syndrome. It’s what triggered this thought process for me. There is an inherent bias in the system against people who are different.
This is an important part of our argument that this is a Charter violation – and this case is an excellent example of exactly the kind of bias we’re suggesting is the issue.