PRESS RELEASE: Changes Welcome to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, But Still More Work To Eliminate Discriminatory Policy


April 17, 2018

April 17, 2018

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) supports the efforts of The House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship Immigration to address disability-based inadmissibility rules in the Canada Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

“Increasing the cost threshold for medical inadmissibility and amending the definition of social services is a good step forward. However, we remain firmly committed that without a full repeal of this discriminatory policy the changes as they stand still leave a black mark on Canada’s immigration record. A policy that is in violation of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and our obligations set out in UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD),” said Joy Bacon, President of CACL.

The CRPD requires state parties to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities to liberty of movement, and to freedom to choose their residence and a nationality on an equal basis with others. By not repealing Section 38(1)(c) of the IRPA Canada continues to uphold discriminatory medical inadmissibility laws.

“We are pleased that going forward the Government agrees to work toward the elimination of the policy and we encourage the government to work with civil society organizations like CACL alongside the provinces to accommodate this goal,” said Krista Carr, CACL’s Executive Vice-President.

The policy as it stands is grounded in the medical model of disability and disadvantages people with disabilities when assessing their applications as newcomers to Canada. It views people who have an intellectual disability as a burden to our social systems and disregards their potential value to Canadian society.

CACL acknowledges this announcement as a necessary step, but to ensure the inclusion of all persons with disabilities and the elimination of the policy, CACL urges the Government of Canada to move quickly to complete the job and engage civil society organizations as well as provincial and territorial counterparts to design a fully inclusive immigration system. Welcoming all qualified families and persons who have an intellectual or other disability is the genuinely inclusive approach, and reflects the values Canadians cherish.

Media Contact: Agata Zieba, Senior Communications Officer, CACL,

This Announcement is on Canadian Association for Community Living website click here


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