Young Canadian Man’s Appeal is Rejected by OHIP
24 November 2014, Ottawa, Algonquin territory – In a highly unusual move, the Ontario Provincial Government has told Deepan Budlakoti, a young Canadian-born man, that the free health care he has utilized for the past 25 years is no longer accessible to him.
The decision comes after Hon. Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, contacted the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to inform them that Mr. Budlakoti is not a citizen, despite Budlakoti holding an Ontario Birth Certificate since 1989 and a Canadian passport since 2003. Although Budlakoti is fighting this ministerial decision in Federal Court, OHIP has already rescinded his access to health care, leaving the young man without basic coverage for the past year.
“Denying OHIP coverage to any person residing in the province of Ontario is needlessly cruel, and sets a dangerous precedent. Health is a basic human right, and the denial of health care coverage to any person should not be tolerated. OHIP should be made available to all Ontario residents, regardless of their immigration status,” says Melanie Spence, a doctor with Health for All.
Deepan Budlakoti is an Ottawa-born man who was rendered stateless by the Canadian government. His citizenship was revoked after he got in trouble with the law as a young person. He is facing deportation to India, a country where he has never lived, has no family and where he is not a citizen.
Amnesty International has raised clear concern that “Canada’s position of refusing to recognize Mr. Budlakoti’s Canadian citizenship runs counter to the country’s international human rights obligations with respect to statelessness and leads to other related human rights violations.”
Statement of support by Alex Neve, Secretary-General of Amnesty International Canada.
Statement of support by Eloy Rivas, PhD student in sociology.