Canadian Federal Court

Canadian Federal CourtCanadian Federal Court

So this morning I received an e-mail from my attorney including the reasons for the rejection.  What it boils down to is “the applicant wants to move to British Columbia, and given British Columbia’s policy of paying the full cost of medication, the applicant is medically inadmissible due to excessive demand.”

This is as I had concluded. My attorney is telling me:

My initial reaction is that this decision makes the same error that was addressed by the Supreme Court in Hilewitz, confusing mere eligibility for a program with probability of demand.  In your case we submitted undisputed evidence regarding lack of demand; the application was refused based upon your eligibility for the program.

While I have not really discussed it up to this point, I have done quite a bit to educate myself on the current treatment paradigms.  The clinical practice varies dramatically from what I have found in the research data – and the research information is all over the board.  I suspect this is because there is actually too much money available to fund research – this encourages far too many people to submit far too many ideas.  In addition, it relies upon a system that becomes de-facto self-perpetuating (e.g., in order to obtain and maintain funding you have to gain the blessing of those in power, and those in power only approve research that is in agreement with the current paradigm.)  In some ways, we may have been better off in the days when funding sources for research were numerous and varied – simply because it eliminates some of this conformance-based policy practice.

At any rate, the current treatment paradigm here in British Columbia is to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs to everyone who is either at risk or diagnosed.  Those pharmaceuticals are quite expensive, at least in Canada, because they are subject to patent protection (although some of those patents are starting to run out.)  Thus, the essence of the current CIC policy, combined with the policy of British Columbia, is that anyone who is not medically exempt is ineligible for immigration.   The irony of this is that the amount of money they are considering (roughly $58,000 over 10 years) is less than the amount I’ve already paid (in two years) in just income taxes here in British Columbia. But this isn’t a cost/benefit decision, this is a pure cost decision.

Bottom line: I’ve now spent quite a bit of money pursuing my own protocol – running tests for things that actually matter (according to the scientific literature that I’ve read, although I have to keep in mind that it is wise to be skeptical of such literature,) taking treatments that might work (a bit more speculative) and finding other affected people who have experience in avoiding the mainstream paradigm (which is “oh, we’d best put you on chemotherapy because otherwise you might get sick!”)  Protocols such as I’ve been following aren’t even an option in the mainstream public funded health care system, despite the availability of peer reviewed scientific data in support of them.

At any rate, this response means the timer is now ticking – there are 30 days to file the “Application”.


To file for a temporary resident permit or not


Canadian Visa Image

Canadian Visa

I’m mulling over whether or not the right thing to do now is to file for a temporary resident permit. Right now I’m in this peculiar limbo – I’m deemed “medically inadmissible” but as a US Citizen I can generally enter Canada without setting off any alarm bells.

I’ve had two lawyer’s throughout this process. Both of them have given me the same answer when I said “so, if I’m found medically inadmissible, are they going to stop me at the border and deny me entry?” In both cases the answer was “probably not.”

Personally, I find this untenable. I’ve got a multi-year lease on an apartment (I owned a place initially, but sold it after getting married and deciding we needed a bigger place,) my company has just renewed a multi-year lease on our offices here, I have people who work for me and depend upon my presence. Further, I have a new spouse who cannot afford the new apartment alone – and I’m not sure I can afford to pay for an extra place (in the US) should they refuse me entry.

Another complication here is that my current work permit expires in September (2012). My new attorney has suggested that I apply outland (at the border) in which case the form is slightly different – specifically, the question about medical conditions. So applying in country means I have to disclose the inadmissibility. Applying out of country means I don’t (because the condition is “manageable with medication”). My current attorney told me that an officer at the border could find out that I was deemed medically inadmissible, but the system with that information is separated from the system that they normally use – so it would require a bit of digging.

The safest thing to do would be to apply for a temporary resident permit (formerly known as a “minister’s permit”) but such things are entirely discretionary – and if I’m rejected for that then it seems very likely that I will be stopped and rejected at the border.

So it’s a bit of a gamble – can I convince that these things constitute legitimate “humanitarian and compassionate” reasons for issuing same. I’m using OP 20 as my guideline here, since understanding the criteria by which such an application is considered is quite useful.

The backup plan would be to simply have all the paperwork with me – in that case I could apply for a TRP at the Port of Entry.  That way, if they stop me I can at least try to get in.  I truly dread the idea of being forced to call everyone at home and say “sorry, but I’m not being allowed back into the country.”

The Rejection Letter

CIC Decision December 2011

Merry Christmas!

CIC Rejection Letter

This letter was short and sweet: “we’ve considered your application, but still find you unworthy to be a permanent resident of Canada.”

The closing line (“Thank you for your interest in Canada”) came across as a rather harsh joke, to be honest, and I picked it up as the byline for my blog.

I knew that a decision had been made, since I checked Ecas once a week.  I checked on Thursday 29 December 2011 (one week after the letter was sent.)  I immediately sent a note to my attorney and received an auto-response indicating he would not be back until the following Thursday.

Coincidentally, I was working in New York City the week of January 2, 2012.  Not only, was I in New York, I was working in 1251 Avenue of the Americas – the very building that houses the Canadian Consulate in New York.  I went in to the Canadian Consulate on Wednesday to see if I could obtain a copy of the decision letter.  It didn’t seem like an unreasonable request – I’m there in the same building, how difficult would it be to simply obtain a copy of the letter.

The joke was on me: while the guards at the Consulate were very polite, there wasn’t much they could do.  One of them took my paperwork and called upstairs.  The response?  I had to send an e-mail via the online system.

So I sent an e-mail to them (done via a form on the consulate specific website,) indicated that I would be in New York City through the close of business the next business day, and could I please obtain a copy of this letter, since my attorney was away on an extended holiday break.

Their response came more than 48 hours later (their service time is “no more than 48 hours”):

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your email. In order to obtain a copy of the letter sent to your representative, it will be necessary for you to cancel this representative. To do so, please provide this office an updated Use of Representative form (IMM 5476).


Immigration Section
Consulate general of Canada
New York, NY

I’m sure whoever write it must have laughed, because of course they would have known that I’d been rejected.  Indeed, later when I spoke with my attorney he confirmed that I had been rejected.

Background: My Response (Part 2)

My attorney filed his response prior to the 29 July 2011 date.  The complete response was 39 pages long; it did not include the information that I had previously provided to CIC.

Sadly, this was not sufficient.



Background: The Response (Part 1)

Michael Battista

Michael Battista, Solicitor

The initial response date was set for 29 May 2011.  After getting over the initial shock, I went into “research mode” and worked on preparing my own response (it’s not as if I had been idle for all those months, either.)

I knew then (and still know now) that I do not wish to take the drugs; I have a variety of reasons for this, based on my own research, my fundamental moral objection to supporting what I consider to be criminal corporate enterprises, and my own personal experiences. Of course, from what I could tell that is not an argument that I’m even allowed to advance, so I had to distance myself from this whole affair and think of it as objectively as possible.

Here is the document that I authored: Response to CIC Final (redacted)

And the cover letter that I attatched to this: CIC Letter May 29 2011 (redacted)

My attorney had requested an extension of time back in April 2011, but as of 29 May 2011 we had not received agreement to extend the deadline.

In early June 2011 we received permission for an extension of time to file until July 27, 2011.

Background: the fairness letter

Fairness Letter

Fairness Letter

Here is a copy of the fairness letter that was provided to me as part of my communications with CIC.  While I was not surprised by its receipt, to be honest, it was still a serious hit and I was quite upset for many days after receiving it.

Fortunately, I’d done my homework. Back in January 2011 I met with Michael Battista of Jordan Battista LLP.  In 2009 he obtained a favourable ruling on behalf of Ricardo Companioni (see Companioni v Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, 2009 FC 1315).  I engaged Mr. Battista’s services in April 2011.

Rule 9 Letter Sent


Supreme Court of Canada

Supreme Court of Canada

The first step in the review process is that the court issues a letter under “Rule 9” requesting the written reasons for a given decision. In the case of immigration decisions, this means the contents of the actual immigration file and the reasons for the decision . While this should include everything in the electronic case notes, it can also include additional materials produced by the medical officer and visa officer with respect to the actual decision. Once this is received a brief arguing the points must be submitted within 30 days.

Frankly, from my read of Companioni, the question raised in that filing would be reasonable to re-raise in  my case as well, but we shall see what my attorney thinks.

The letter requesting the file was sent today (12 January 2012).