Quadriplegic OFW Fights Deportation from Canada

Maria Victoria Venancio, a temporary foreign worker in Canada, is currently in the middle of a legal battle to stay in the country where quadriplegics like her have better opportunities to work and live independently.

But things are not looking good for the 29-year-old OFW. On February 16, she was issued an exclusion order during a deportation hearing, which means she is just one step closer to deportation, according to a report on CBC News Edmonton.

The report said the actual removal would have to come from Canadian Border Services Agency, where Venancio’s lawyer, Chris Bataluk, is expected to make a last-ditch effort to have the order deferred.

According to CBC News Edmonton, Bataluk is expected to cite Venancio’s application to stay in Canada on compassionate grounds as reason for the request.

The Canadian Border Services Agency has yet to schedule an enforcement hearing, the report said.

Bataluk was quoted in the report as saying that Venancio would be “in a very difficult situation” if ever she is deported to the Philippines, where “there’s no public health infrastructure.”

He said in Canada, Venancio, who moved to Edmonton from the Philippines in 2011, can enjoy PWD-friendly amenities such as paved streets and Disabled Adult Transit Service buses.

In a separate report on Edmonton Sun, Bataluk said the cost and standard of medical care in the Philippines was “nothing that’s comparable” to what could be offered in Canada.

Seven months after she arrived in Edmonton, Venancio was riding her bike on her way to work when she was hit by a car and seriously injured. The accident left her in a wheelchair and unable to work, which meant she was unable to renew her visa and is now in the country illegally.

Since she is not legally in Canada, Venancio is not eligible for health care, the CBC News report said.

Venancio has sued her former employer for medical and disability coverage.

Thomas Lukaszuk, a Member of the Legislative Assembly, told CTV News that Venancio’s case put a spotlight on issues faced by the country’s temporary foreign workers program.

(Source: Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News)

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