When they arrived as landed immigrants to Ontario, they came to be with family, to support their family. They lived half a world away. Their daughter, her husband and their grandchildren are in Canada.
Like others new to Canada, their daughter and son-in-law came to Ontario as landed immigrants 20 years ago. Like the majority of New Canadians, these newcomers succeeded. They became Canadian citizens. They furthered their skills and education. They took jobs. They started a family. They contributed and continue to do so.
Some years back, her parents applied to come as landed immigrants. Their children had secured the financial resources to support the application. In November, 2013, the grandparents were granted landed immigrant status.
They made their way to Canada to be their family, their grandchildren. They would help with care of the children so the parents could work.
A week after arriving, one of the grandparents became ill. It turned out to be a cancer. There was a chance to cure it with surgery — a major operation.
But, and here it is again, there was deal breaker in the works. The 3 month wait for OHIP. Unable to afford the surgery, doctors bills and hospital costs, and with no guarantee private insurance would pay the bills, they returned home for care.
Coming to Canada is off. Another protracted application will be required – that can easily consume years.
This unimaginable tragedy is more common than most Canadian realize. In fairness, Ontario has shown leadership by providing healthcare coverage to refugee claimants abandoned by the current Federal Government. For this, our Premier and our Health Minister are to be commended for humanitarian leadership.
It is just one more small step to end the 3 month wait Ontario imposes ( one of only 3 provinces to do so). Let’s do it. Its the right step to take.