Falling Through The Cracks

October 1st, 2014

For some reason, many individuals on open work permits in the province of Quebec are not eligible for medical coverage under the provincial health plan. It would make some sense to deny coverage to individuals on open work permits who were not gainfully employed, but why deny benefits to working tax payers?

Let me share an example of a family in Quebec, who I know quite well. They are a married couple with a five year-old Canadian-born daughter. The mom came to Canada on a study permit five years ago and is in graduate school at a prestigious university. The dad is on an open work permit and has been employed in a full-time job for the past four years. They have always maintained legal immigration status and applied for Canadian permanent resident visas four years ago. They received Quebec selection certificates a long time ago.

Through no fault of their own, the federal portion of their permanent resident applications have gone from one delay to another, with the end of the process still not in sight. Although the husband paid his fair share of taxes, neither he nor his wife are entitled to health benefits offered to Quebec residents and to individuals on work permits of a non-open variety. Worse still, their Canadian-born daughter is also not eligible for public health insurance in Quebec because of her parents’ status. How can that be justified?

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