Non-Status people must have access to public Healthcare in Canada

Non-Status people must have access to public Healthcare in Canada

12 have signed. Let’s get to 25!

Why this petition matters

Non-Status people in Canada must have access to regular healthcare because it is a Human Right. According to Legido-Quigley et al., the commitment to Universal Health Coverage was renewed by world authorities in 2015, but Healthcare is not universal if non-status migrants are excluded. Their status keeps them in a very vulnerable situation. They are outside most of the social service net. As a result, they have to pay extremely high medical health fees for access to healthcare; in addition, they do not feel comfortable disclosing personal information, fearing that they would end up deported.  This situation leaves them outside the healthcare system without proper primary care increasing long-term diseases and affecting their quality of life.

Some citizens could argue that giving access to non-status people to primary healthcare will increase the expenses of the Canadian health system. These citizens do not realize that a patient without primary care and the proper medical attention will become a critical patient in the long term. In this case, the medical health care cost of this patient would increase exponentially; therefore, prevention is a better choice. 

Moreover, some people could say that non-status migrants cannot have the right to access healthcare because they do not pay taxes. This assumption is not valid. Non-status folks pay taxes and contribute to the economy. Most of them pay regular taxes each year, waiting for the moment when the government could open a window to regularize their situation. In addition, each time undocumented people buy something, they pay taxes to implement social policies that they can never have access to. They do not have access to Child Tax Benefits, Maternity Leave, or Seniors' Tax Credits, among others. As a result, non-status migrants activate the Canadian economy without any benefits in return.

Furthermore, in lockdown due to the covid-19 pandemic, those who went outside to keep the cities working and disinfected were mostly non-status folks who could not have access to social help like CERB or Ontario Works. Therefore, non-status migrants kept working to feed their families and survive. Indeed, do not forget that most of the time, they work in harmful conditions, being exploited, and throughout this particular time, they were exposed to the virus mostly every day for the sake of Canadians.

Facing the fear of possible deportation while asking for medical help is not a dignified way to live. Canada is better than that. I urge you to think about non-status people who have been building our cities without any credit for years. It is time to dignify their lives by giving them the right to access primary healthcare. It is time to think of social justice and basic Human Rights.


Legido-Quigley, H., Pocock, N., Sok, T. T., Pajin, L., Suphanchaimat, R., Wickramage, K., McKee, M., & Pottie, K. (2019). Healthcare is not universal if undocumented migrants are excluded. BMJ : British Medical Journal (Online), 366

Gatehouse, J. (2020, July 2). How undocumented migrant workers are slipping through Ontario's COVID-19 net. Canadian Broadcasting Commission Radio-Canada.

12 have signed. Let’s get to 25!