Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Please come to Canada - but not if you're Autistic

This is a tough post to write.

After two years of sending forms, being prodded and poked.  Spending thousands of dollars getting police certificates, we have found out today that our quest to become Permanent Residents in a country we have lived in for pretty much seven years is going to be rejected.


We have an Autistic son.  Actually we have a mildly Autistic son.

We have no criminal records - we are law abiding.

It doesn't matter, that M and I are both highly skilled people.  It doesn't matter that M is highly paid.  It doesn't matter that M pay's a huge amount of tax every year.  The fact we have both spent between 4-8 years each in a college doesn't mean anything.

The fact that, I was hoping to train as an Special-ed teacher doesn't matter.  The fact we wanted to buy a house is not a factor.  We are contributing members of society.  We have jobs, we pay our taxes, we pay our bills on time, we have no debt, we follow the laws, we help in the community, we have friends and a strong network.

Yet, our seven year old, who counts Canada his home -- who counts himself Canadian, is being rejected by the country he loves.

We have a beautiful high functioning, verbal, intelligent son.  One who unfortunately is going to cost the government $24,000 a year to treat. For every Autistic Child in BC, the government gives $18,000 to the school board and $6,000 to pay for extra therapy.

$24,000 a year, which they are already paying as we are temporary residents.  However, that doesn't matter.

We are all in a state of shock at the moment.  To be rejected at this late stage, when we thought all the hurdles had been jumped through.  To be rejected by some cold hard letter.

We have 6 weeks to appeal.  We just aren't sure what this means for our work permit renewal that is in the works.

Maybe I will write more when I can make some kind of sense of this - because at the moment I can't.


  1. That's horrible, and as a Canadian, I'm embarrassed that my home country is doing this to you.

    I live in the US, and just this afternoon was dealing with some bureaucratic issues with relocating and mortgages and work. But at least these issues are mostly within my own control.

    Good luck!

  2. Kate, I'm so sorry, and I'll keep your and your appeal in my thoughts -- perhaps the appeals process will bring some sanity to this mess. As left-leaning Americans, we the tend to idealize Canada as the place that gets socialized benefits rights, but obviously it is far from perfect. Good luck!

  3. Kate -you are all ion my thoughts and prayers. There is a plan for you guys-maybe just not there. more big hugs

  4. Words fail. I hope some good comes out of this terrible news somehow.

  5. Kate- Words fail me. I know my sister is fighting to get proper assistance from her local school district here in the states for an autistic child, but to refuse citizenship to a child they are already supporting- I am so sorry! *HUG*

  6. Holy crap, that sucks! OK. Maybe this is just a sign that you need to move a little south... like say... I don't know... California?? I know. Snow sucks this year, but maybe we can make up for it next year (or in the next couple weeks considering the weather we are having).

    Really, though. THat must be heartbreaking and a bit of a mindbender. I'm so sorry.

  7. Insane. You should post the letter. Unbelievable.

  8. Immigration Departments seem to be the same the Western world over. That sought of thing wouldn't surprise me, if it happened in Australia, but like your US readers, I thought Canada was different.

    I hope it works out for your family.