Disability Group Challenges Canada on 'Excessive Burden': $5,259

24 February 2010

For immediate release

Immigration officials contend that paying $5,259 per year for Rachel Barlagne's education would be an excessive burden on Canada, so they are ordering her family to leave Montreal and abandon the life and business they are building in their adopted country.

This is a surprising turn of affairs in a country that a week ago celebrated the contributions made to Canada by Alexandre and Frédéric Bilodeau. Like Rachel, Frédéric has Cerebral Palsy. The only difference between Rachel and Frédéric is where they were born. "Canadians with disabilities are left wondering why a country that correctly celebrated Frédéric Bilodeau's contribution to his brother's success would want to throw out Rachel and her family over $5,259 per year in schooling costs," states Marie White, Chairperson of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.

In the short term, CCD is calling upon the Minister of Immigration to allow the Barlagne family to remain in Canada on humanitarian grounds.

In the long term, CCD is calling upon the government of Canada to overhaul Canada's immigration policy to remove the discriminatory practices that put the Barlagne family's immigration to Canada in jeopardy. Canada's immigration policy is based upon a negative and outdated understanding of disability that fails to recognize the contribution that people with disabilities can, and do, make.

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), a human rights organization of people with disabilities, works for an inclusive and accessible Canada.


For More Information Contact:

Laurie Beachell
CCD National Coordinator
Tel: 204-947-0303

Marie White
CCD Chairperson
Tel: 709-739-8233