Background: It was during the year 1999, that Nell Toussaint; a female immigrant arrived in the city of Toronto in Canada from Grenada on a temporary visa valid for six months. Legally speaking, she was supposed to leave the country within the stipulated period mentioned on her passport. Her decision to stay back without any extension of the temporary visa turned her into an illegal immigrant.
It was around the year 2006 that Nell started developing health problems as she suffered from a kidney disease. As the disease aggravated further, her poor health made it impossible for her to survive and support herself. Her deteriorating health led to several other problems since she suffered from tumors and blood clots and she became a chronic case of diabetes. The prohibitive costs of treatment in hospital and the rising medical bills made it impossible for her to pay her bills from the resources available to her.
Legal Recourse: She was left with no other alternative, but to file an application to change her status from a temporary visitor to a permanent resident in order to avail of the health care coverage in the state of Ontario. While applying, she did not deposit the requisite fees along with her application which turned out to be one of the major reasons for the rejection of her application.
Under an Order in Council passed during the year 1957 which proposes to broaden the ambit of coverage of medical treatment to any person who is being dealt with by the Immigration System of the country, Nell applied under this Order in Council which the court rejected even though she had applied twice against the verdict of the Federal Court. Nell’s arguments were based on the fact that under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, she had a right to her life, freedom and safety which had been denied to her. It was just last Friday that the court released their decision rejecting her plea.
The Verdict: The court further commented that while it agreed in principle that the medical condition of Nell was acute and was literally fighting death, yet it mentioned that lack of medical coverage was entirely her own negligence, when she could have applied for immigration with the necessary fees. Despite the fact she stayed over in Canada for more than a decade, she had not thought of taking the right step of getting her status changed to a legal citizen of the country.
Hope For The Best: While the legal battle between Nell Toussaint and the Federal Court may not yet be over since another court has passed a ruling to waive off the fees which was to be deposited with her application for residency. This could trigger a restart of the process of immigration all over again and in case she wins the case, it would be the Ontario government ending up paying the medical and health care bills of an illegal migrant, Nell Toussaint.
The Rule of Law Prevails: There is hardly any doubt that medical treatment not only in Canada but the world over is not only exorbitant, but extremely prohibitive. The coverage of health care treatment abroad is available only to legal immigrants who have become legalized citizens of Canada, thus it is essential that anyone migrating to Canada follows the rules and procedures and act responsibly.