Citizenship and immigration minister Jason Kenney is considering charging a health care premium to Canadian citizens who want to bring their parents and elderly grandparents to Canada as immigrants to Canada or Canada permanent residents. This new initiative would involve Canadian citizens paying a portion of the health care costs that their elderly relatives would potentially accrue.
While immigration Canada is committed to reuniting families, this reunification has to be linked to the scarcity of Canada’s public resources. A bond of 150,000 dollars has therefore been suggested. Canadian immigration lawyer Michael Niren believes that Canadian families wishing to bring their elderly relatives to Canada would be open to such a fee. “Most of these families are desperate to be united with their parents and grandparents,” he told Yahoo! Canada news.
Based on data collected between 1980 and 2010 by the Citizenship and Immigration ministry, there were an estimated 275,000 immigrant parents and grandparents over 65 living in Canada in 2010, at a cost of nearly $3 billion a year for health care.