Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Conservatives and their very small Canada

You can see it today in this initiative: "Refugee health benefits scaled back by Tories." It's an appeal to people's me-first instincts, asking Canadians to be insular and resentful of the foreigner among us. Asking Canadians to be ungenerous toward some of the most vulnerable peoples in the world, refugees who are fleeing oppression elsewhere. "They" should not be getting better health benefits than the everyday Canadian.
The federal government is putting an end to paying for certain health-care benefits for refugee claimants, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced Wednesday.
"Canadians are a very generous people and Canada has a generous immigration system," Kenney said in a news release. "However, we do not want to ask Canadians to pay for benefits for protected persons and refugee claimants that are more generous than what they are entitled to themselves."
The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) gives basic health-care coverage to protected persons, refugee claimants and others who don't qualify for provincial or territorial coverage. The program cost $84 million last year. The program also covers the costs for supplemental health services: medications, dentistry, vision care and mobility devices.
Those services aren't covered for most Canadians through their provincial and territorial health plans, and that's where the government is making the cuts.
Yes, why should refugees be able to have glasses. Surely those refugee types can finance this excess on their own given the equal footing they have when fleeing to Canada.

It is laughable to portray such benefits as an incentive to file refugee claims. If there is a genuine issue with fraud, target that.

This is Harper's Canada. It encourages resentment among Canadians toward those who may be truly less fortunate. Lowest common denominator stuff.