DAA News Network

Canada Refuses Entry To Disabled Child

Posted 04/10-08 at 16.41

A British family who planned to start a new life in Canada were refused entry because their daughter is disabled and have been forced to return home.

Paul and Barbara-Anne Chapman had sold their home in Britain and bought a farmhouse in Nova Scotia, Canada. The local authorities supported and welcomed them.

However, when the family arrived at the airport a border guard refused them entry. Several questions were raised about their work permit, clearance for their black Labrador and about their daughter Lucy, who has Angelman syndrome.

The family claim a border guard told them that because Lucy is disabled she would never be allowed into the country, and that she had a lifetime ban.

Mrs Chapman said: “My dog was allowed to stay. My dog has a higher status than my daughter in Canada, just because she is disabled.”

Canada’s immigration rules in section 38 do have a clause that states that you are not eligible for immigration if you would make an excessive demand on health and social services.  Presently, “excessive demand” is usually defined as exceeding $15,000 of publicly funded health care costs over the next 5 years. However, in certain family applications, children are exempt from this rule of no entry due to health care costs.

The Convention on the Rights of Disabled People places obligations on countries to protect disabled people’s rights and freedoms. This includes the right to free movement and residency.

Entry to one’s own country is specifically mentioned in Article 18 of the Convention: “Are not deprived, arbitrarily or on the basis of disability, of the right to enter their own country.”  

Entry into another country is protected in Article 18, where it says that disabled people should “not be deprived, on the basis of disability, of their ability to obtain, possess and utilize ... relevant processes such as immigration proceedings, that may be needed to facilitate exercise of the right to liberty of movement.'

Mr and Mrs Chapman have hired a Canadian lawyer to fight the decision.



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