moved for leave to introduce Bill C-556, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (exception to inadmissibility).
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to introduce a bill that speaks on behalf of those vulnerable people who are denied immigration status because of their health condition.
This bill looks to stop discrimination against people living with disabilities by improving our Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and making it fair and equitable.
I want to thank my former colleague, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, for all her work on this issue in the past, and her work in favour of those living with disabilities and protecting their rights.
The act currently suggests discriminating against people living with disabilities by prohibiting them from immigrating to Canada since they might represent an excessive burden on our society. That was the case of David and Sophie Barlagne, a French family that was told by the Federal Court that their daughter, Rachel, who has cerebral palsy, constituted an excessive demand on the social service resources of the province of Quebec, even though the family can support her. Through these actions, the government is telling the family that their child is a burden.
That is the reason this bill guarantees an opportunity of an appeal process for people with a disability who have applied for immigration but have been turned down. This bill would allow them to prove they have abilities that need to be recognized and that in fact they will not pose an excessive demand on our society, but on the contrary they can contribute greatly to our country.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)