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QUESTION PERIOD — Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Access to Health Care

February 7, 2024

In 2018, the UN Human Rights Committee ruled that Canada violated Nell Toussaint’s rights by denying her essential health care because of her irregular immigration status. Canada has not yet complied with the committee’s decision. Still fighting for human rights for herself and others, Ms. Toussaint died in 2023.

Next Monday, February 12, the government will respond to the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of Canada, including calls to ensure access to health care without discrimination based on immigration status. What concrete measures is the government taking to ensure access to health care in light of the council’s recommendations and the decision of the UN Human Rights Committee in Nell Toussaint’s case?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ - ]

Thank you for the question and for reminding us of the tragic case of Ms. Toussaint.

I’m not in a position to respond to the specifics of your question. The government takes human rights issues very seriously. I undertake to raise this issue with the relevant minister as soon as I can.

Thank you, Senator Gold. Nell Toussaint is being honoured this month by many because, of course, it is Black History Month. I am hoping that as you are communicating with the government that you can impress upon them that we would love to receive information about the concrete action that the government is taking to ensure access to health care for those struggling to access life-saving care in situations similar to that of Ms. Toussaint.

Senator Gold [ - ]

I will certainly add that to my conversation with the minister.

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