Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Paralyzed Pinay gets help from Canadian health minister in fight vs. deportation July 21, 2015 2:15pm

The plight of Maria Victoria Venancio, the paralyzed Filipino temporary worker who is fighting deportation in Canada, has gotten the attention of a government official there who promised to help her in her legal battle.

In a report on Edmonton Journal, Canada Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said she will bring Venancio's case to the federal immigration minister to try to keep the Filipina worker in Canada so she can get medical help for injuries suffered on her way to work.

“It’s quite heartbreaking and I couldn’t imagine being a quadriplegic in my own country, let alone being away from your family and your language and your culture,” Hoffman told the Journal, "She clearly wants to work and be a contributing member of society in the long term. That’s great. We need that in Canada.”

The wheelchair-bound Venancio, known to her friends and relatives as Vicky, said her recovery would only improve if she received proper healthcare coverage from the Canadian government.

Venancio's supporters held a concert with Juno-nominated folk singer Maria Dunn and others at St. Theresa's Catholic Church last June in order to help raise awareness and funds for her cause, a separate report on Edmonton Sun said.

Alberta Medical Association (AMA) President Dr. Richard Johnston also showed support for Venancio in a letter addressed to one of her supporters, saying temporary foreign workers deserve support for contributing to Canada's economy, a report on CBC News said.

"?The need for care and support does not end because a worker is due or required to leave the province... The corporations for whom the individual works should also bear some obligation," Johnston said.

A biking accident on her way to work left Venancio a quadriplegic in 2012, just seven months after she arrived in Canada to seek employment. Because of her inability to work, the province revoked her healthcare coverage and ordered her deportation in February.

Venancio has sued her former employer for medical and disability coverage. Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News

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