Toronto Metropolitan University
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How the discourse of ableism functions in Canadian immigration policy: undoing discrimination against persons with disabilities

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posted on 2023-07-31, 15:47 authored by Jenna Blower
This paper makes a strong case arguing that Canadian immigration policy discriminates against persons with disabilities and their families due to Ableist modes of thought. Ableism is a discourse that can be understood as humans’ capacity to be productive (El-Lahib, 2015). Immigration policies, such as the excessive demand clause, can forbid persons with disabilities to enter Canada since they may rely on health care or social services. The excessive demand clause does, however, make exceptions to persons and families who can prove they can incur the necessary costs associated with one’s “disability” (Government of Canada, 2016a). Though efforts have been made to make Canadian immigration policy more inclusive, immigration policies still discriminate against persons with disabilities (El-Lahib & Wehbi, 2012; Hanes, 2009). This paper emphasizes how the discourse of ableism hides from view the many ways persons with disabilities contribute to the economy and act as valued members of society. Keywords: Ableism; Disability; Canada; Immigration Policy; Neoliberalism





  • Master of Arts


  • Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP