Second chance in life after kidney donor arrives in Canada

Colin Perera and his family with Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre at his office in Manotick. (Picture handout Office of MP Pierre Poilievre)

Colin Perera and his family with Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre at his office in Manotick. (Picture handout Office of MP Pierre Poilievre)

  • Colin Perera undergoes painful dialysis for four hours every other day
  • A relative in Sri Lanka offered to donate a kidney visitor visa to Canada was rejected
  • Mr. Perera gave up hope thought his life was coming to end, decided to stop dialysis
  • Opposition MP, Immigration Minister, their staff worked together to issue permit for donor
  • Mr. Perera says he has second chance at life
  • Estimated $250,000 savings for healthcare system over five years: MP

Ottawa resident Colin Perera doesn’t consider himself an influential person or someone who follows politicians closely.  Yet he is perhaps the biggest fan of Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre

Poilievre and his staff played a crucial role in giving Mr. Perera a second chance in life. The Opposition Conservative MP worked together with Government Immigration Minister’s office to allow a Sri Lankan relative to arrive in Canada and donate a kidney to Mr. Perera.

“I have no words to express myself and the way of showing full and highest way of respect in our culture is putting our hands together in a sign of worship,” Mr. Perera told

“I feel like worshiping Honourable Pierre Poilievre for having such compassionate heart.”

“I have been going through dialysis it has been frustrating. They put two and needles into my veins every other day for the past two years it has been so hard painful,” said Mr. Perera who owns a restaurant in Ottawa and eager to return back to work.

“I feel very faint, dizzy vomit after dialysis. My intake of water has been limited to only 1 litre a day.”

Big Blow

His wife located a relative in Sri Lanka who was tested, and found suitable as a donor for Mr. Perera, however, the Canadian High Commission in Colombo turned down the request for a Visa.

With all the money spent to test the donor, Mr. Perera described the news as a big blow to his life, and accepted the fact his days were numbered.

“After that I decided to stop dialysis and maybe dyeing soon,” he said.

“The hospital staff told me not give up hope and meet my area Member of Parliament. I wasn’t that hopeful since the visa was already turned down.”

The staff at MP Pierre Poilievre’s office listened to Mr. Perera’s case offered to get back to him within a week.

Poilievre’s staff were in touch with Immigration Minister’s McCullum’s chief of staff and a Minister’s permit was issued for the donor in Sri Lanka.

Mr. Perera is expected to undergo his surgery in April.

Canadians die waiting for donors

Poilievre says many Canadians die waiting for kidney donors, he says up to 100 died in 2012.

Despite sitting in opposition, he offered praise to the office of the Immigration Minister who worked swiftly in Mr. Perera’s case.

“I called the chief of staff to minister McCallum and his offered amazing service. They researched the file, they got all the facts line up and put a Ministerial permit on the desk of Minister McCallum, who promptly signed it,” Poilievre told

The MP says the move also saves healthcare system money.

It costs $60,000 a year for dialysis treatment, which is a reoccurring cost until the patient dies, while the kidney transplant is a one-time cost of $23,000. We estimate over a five year period, taxpayers will save over a quarter of a million dollars as a result of this transplant. Mr. Perera will also have the opportunity to get back to work at his business in Metcalf, Ontario, he said.