This delightful couple came to our town in August 2016. They were the first Mauritians we had ever met and we were excited to have them become part of our community.
Nima is a vivacious, talented and intelligent young woman. She and her husband came to Canada hoping to start a business and make a new life. They brought investment funds with them and used them all to purchase a restaurant in our town, under the impression that within three months they would be able to obtain the paperwork they needed to stay on.
Nima got pregnant with their first child, but the hope that she would soon get her work permit kept her from leaving. Nothing went as planned, however. Even though this popular couple is contributing a lot to the community, their visas have still have not come.
Therefore, they have not been able to obtain Alberta Health Insurance. They have been paying for pre-natal care out of pocket and are planning a homebirth with a midwife, but the expenses are still beyond their means. If there are complications and she has to go to hospital, it will be impossible for the family to pay. Hospital fees for out-of-country people are about $6000 per night for mother and baby. Nima is due any time.
Circumstances have been difficult for their business as well and they are struggling to get on their feet. They have even hired local people to work in their business.. Our community has benefitted greatly from what they have done here. They are outgoing, optimistic, and are energetic leaders and organizers.
It seems a shame that while so many immigrants go directly onto social assistance, this hard-working couple may not be able to stay with us because of legal and bureaucratic red tape.
Nima and her husband need assistance to pay for her maternity expenses and carry on in business until their visas can be sorted out. This is a plea to anyone out there who might be willing help them achieve their dream.