It is a daunting experience moving to a new house, in fact most people rate moving as one of the most stressful things in life. Now imagine moving countries? It is no longer just a question of moving trucks and house viewings, it is a whole other ball game, but despite this over whelming task, Carey McGregor and his wife, married in 2007, decided to make this move back to Canada; Carey’s country of birth and Sylvia’s country by choice.
It took Carey and his little family a year and a half to get everything in place and to settle down, with their new born son, Sean and 3 cats. Carey, who is a hospitality professional, found a management position at a local restaurant, that offered him enough money to get started in Canada again, and so that he could take care of his family, while his wife stayed home to care for their son. Unfortunately with the ideal job, sacrifices having to be made in the form of late nights and long days, meaning that Carey couldn’t find time, except for some nights, when the relevant offices for Sylvia’s paperwork concerning her resident visa, were closed. After a few months of searching, Carey found an even better job; a job which allowed him more time at home during the week, which also meant he was capable of submitting the paper work needed for Sylvia's resident visa.
Carey and his little family were quietly enjoying the life in Canada they had dreamt of, when the exciting and joyful news arrived that Sylvia was pregnant once again. Unfortunately the family could not enjoy this news as you might expect; they couldn’t jump and down with excitement, Sylvia couldn’t even start thinking of baby names and all because they had Damocles’ sword over their heads. As much as they wanted to celebrate, there has always been this poison dart that kept them from doing so, O.H.I.P.. Sylvia hasn’t received her O.H.I.P. as of yet, and time is of the essence! They have applied for Sylvia's resident visa, the first step before receiving O.H.I.P., but are fervently waiting for it to be processed, 12 to 18 months. During that waiting period, there are 'no' options for a situation like this, except 1, find up to $20k, that's it! There is no private insurance that covers pregnancy/delivery, Sylvia can't even leave Canada because customs likely wouldn't let her back into Canada, due to her papers being in process, and if she did leave, Carey and Sylvia would lose the $550 unrefundable mandatory deposit towards the resident visa, and the visa process would have to be started over.
If this piece of red tape isn’t dealt with in a short time, a number of things could happen, none of which are very pleasant for the family. The first thing is, Sylvia's pregnancy term completed in Canada, whereas this may seem like a practical option, it is not a feasible one financially, 10-20k. The second... well, there are no other options,, find the money, period! (The Canadian government, Federal or Provincial have nothing in place for a situation like this!)
For a close family that has been through tough decisions, a solid routine in place, settled in a nice home... decisions are not easy.
A 'process' is standing in the way of 2 children’s health and future as well as one couple’s peace of mind and safety. In a country so advanced and so focused on human rights and responsibility, this shouldn’t be! All that needs to be done is for their paperwork to be expedited and reviewed or possibly O.H.I.P. offered to Sylvia before the fact, with supporting documents of course.
This I am sure is not a unique case, in fact I am sure that the O.H.I.P. offices have had many such stories crossing their desks with much the same situations of time being the enemy. What makes this story heart breaking is the love this father has for his wife and both his children, and the fact that he will do anything to keep them near him, protect and provide for them. This father now sits with 2 impossible decisions, one that he finds unbearable to think about, the separation of his family for even one day, and one which he is in no position to even consider, that of possibly covering the payment for the birth of his future child, due in early May.