Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question and for the concern he and other colleagues have shown in the case.
First, as was mentioned, the individual in question is on a work authorization. He has applied from within the country for permanent status. As a result of the medical test he has been found inadmissible.
It is the classic difficult case of the compassion which has been shown to this individual by the Edmonton community and the whole question of medical admissibility which is one of the tests on which Canadians expect all applicants to be assessed. It is not something we treat lightly. Last year of the over 325,000 cases assessed medically, some 2,000 were denied.
Second, while our health system is second to none in the world, its resources are limited and involve the provinces. Consequently I have opened a channel of official communication with the premier of Alberta to ascertain the position of Alberta vis-à-vis the health care and health consequences of this individual, should he stay. Also, since the premier of Saskatchewan has gone on the public record eliciting support, I have also been in contact with his office to see if there could be anything done vis-à-vis relocating this individual in Saskatchewan should discussions fail with Alberta.
The effort is to try to balance compassion and the whole question of being fiscally responsible in terms of a viable health care system across the country when many exceptions to the rules are being requested of my department.