This truly is a process that encourages one to scream at times. I’m reading various cases (this time, using the fabulous search tools at the Canadian Legal Information Institute. I’m finding their linkage tools (“find cases that cite this case”) to be invaluable.
Of course, the downside to this is that I’m likely torturing myself through this process. Because in this case (Rashid v MCI) the applicant‘s application was rejected. A careful reading of the logic suggests that it could be applied to my case.
The judge did certify a question in this case, one that had it been answered would likely have direct bearing upon my case:
When a medical officer has determined that an applicant will be in need of prescription drugs, the cost of which would place the applicant over the threshold of “excessive demand” as set out in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, must a visa officer assess the applicant’s ability to pay for the prescription drugs privately when those same drugs are covered by a government program for which the applicant would be eligible in the province/territory of intended residence?
This question directly squares with my own situation. Rashid however failed because he did not already have the necessary insurance in place. Thus, interpreting the current jurisprudence it would seem that in order to be successful proving an insurance based plan to mitigate excessive demand one would have to already be inside Canada and the insurance must already be in place.
The CIC medical officer in my case added an additional requirement: one must already be using the insurance, in order to assuage her (after the fact) concerns that the insurance truly will pay the prospective costs.
Indeed, it is this continual raising of the bar that makes me grudgingly question if this isn’t really not about procedural fairness but rather more about “let’s just make it difficult for anyone ‘undesirable’ to immigrate to Canada.” Frankly, very few people will take their case to the Federal Court of Canada in a case like this. I suspect that most abandon their case at the point they get the fairness letter. “Oh well, we didn’t make it.” Some respond and of them a few actually work with an experienced attorney to craft an intelligible response. At that point, how many people will continue to challenge the system?
Finally, even if they are successful at challenging the system, what do they win? After all, their application is just sent back to CIC for consideration by another officer. From what I can tell, that doesn’t seem to be successful in most cases anyway.
Is there any wonder that this really looks more like a scheme to provide the veneer of respectability over what is, at its heart, primarily based upon bias?
I just hope that I’m wrong.
- Reliance on Extrinsic Evidence (medicallyinadmissible.com)
- Over 100 years of Supreme Court of Canada judgments now available on CanLII (business.financialpost.com)