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Disability is not a choice, nor a reason to be asked to leave Canada

Lisa Kim, Ancaster

My name is Lisa Kim, and I am in Grade 12 in Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School. I came to Canada nine years ago with my little brother and parents from South Korea.

We decided to come to Canada because we had heard about the good environment and educational system. This made us decide to stay here, and six years ago, we applied for a permanent residence.

My father worked hard in a company and my mother tried her best to support us using her skills as a teacher in South Korea.

However, we recently got disappointing news from the Immigration Office of Canada. They have rejected our application because my brother is autistic.

When I heard this news from my parents after school, I was very upset and shocked. I believed that I would graduate from my high school, attend the university I wanted and become a person who would share their talents and gifts with others. I have already applied to a couple of universities in Ontario in the hope of becoming a nurse. I always dreamed of helping and reaching out to children who need my help, like my little brother.

I believed that this would all start in Canada, where I have spent most of my educational years learning about accepting and respecting our own neighbours.

My brother also loves to be at school and meeting people. He is very used to being in this friendly environment. If he has to leave, he will be very confused and shocked.

My home country, South Korea, is well developed in the economic field but the social/educational system for autism is very poor. Therefore, I am worried that my young brother could not survive in that system and would lose his chance to have his valuable life.

Disability is not a choice. Everyone is valued regardless of the disability or weakness. We know Canada thinks humanity first regardless of races, religions and minorities. This is the reason why we love Canada and the reason we want to stay.

Please consider my family situation and help us to have our meaningful life in Canada.

Please do not let us down, Canada. We trust you.

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