kenney's canada: paralyzed woman to lose independence if caregivers are deported

Just another story of more undeserving immigrants trying to sneak into the promised land. This one is a particularly sneaky ploy. Here's how you do it.

First, emigrate to Canada, a process that takes a minimum of two years, often twice that or longer.

Then, live in Canada long enough to become a citizen, a minimum of three years.

Then have a car accident in order to become quadriplegic. Yay, free health care! That was easy!

Next, find two family members willing to uproot their lives and start over in a foreign country in order to be serve as your full-time caregivers. Can't you just see them high-fiving? "Whoo-hoo, we're scamming the system, taking care of our quadriplegic cousin!"

I suck at this satire stuff. Al Weisel, a/k/a Jon Swift, is sorely missed.

All I can say is: Really, Jason Kenney? Really?
A Toronto woman paralyzed from the chest down is worried she will be forced back into a nursing home if immigration officials go ahead with plans to deport her cousin and his wife, who she relies on for primary care.

Hallima Idan, 47, was left paralyzed after a car accident six years ago.

A wheelchair user with limited use of her arms, Idan requires around-the-clock care to help her eat, bathe and dress.

Idan, a Canadian citizen who immigrated from Guyana in 1997, spent months in hospital after the accident then stayed in a nursing home for about a month. Idan said her nursing home care was inadequate.

"It was so awful," she told CBC News. "They don't shower you, they don't give you nothing proper to eat. Nothing. If I stayed there any longer, I might commit suicide because I can't take it."

Idan said her husband was unwilling to care for her and "abandoned" her. Other family members stepped in to look after her as best they could but could not be with her the 24 hours a day that she required.

Idan's cousin, Mohamed Arpha, and his wife, Zarine, came to Canada in 2007 and began to provide full-time care for Idan in her Toronto apartment.

The couple applied for refugee protection on humanitarian and compassionate grounds but the application was rejected and they were ordered deported.

. . . .

Judith Pilowsky, a Toronto psychologist who specializes in treating people who have suffered acute trauma, wrote a letter in support of the Arphas staying in Canada for compassionate reasons.

In her letter, Pilowsky said if the Arphas are deported, "Ms. Idan is highly susceptible to a complete psychological breakdown from which she will not recover."

Unable to afford private home care, Idan fears she will have to a return to a nursing home if the Arphas are sent back to Guyana.

"I'd rather die than go back [to a care home]," she said.
This story raises several questions, among them: why was this woman's nursing home care so sub-standard? Is that the norm in Toronto-area long-term care facilities? Almost everyone speaks of nursing homes with dread: institutionalization, lack of privacy, lack of independence. Those issues are very real. But the quality of care can still be excellent. Is the woman (understandably) exaggerating because she dreads returning to a facility, or was the care really that bad?

On the main point, why is Canada in such a rush to deport her caregivers? I have read that applications to remain in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds - referred to as "H&Cs" - used to be granted in about half of all cases, but that now, under Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's watch, the success rate has dropped to less than 20%. (I haven't been able to locate my source for this, but I'll continue to look.) Not for nothing NDP Immigration Critic Olivia Chow calls Kenney the Minister of Censorship and Deportation.

From the government's point of view, what could be more desirable than family caregivers? Unless, of course, the government is hostile to immigration.

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