Kenney fires back at Saskatchewan over refugee health care access

- November 29th, 2012

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney fired back at the government of Saskatchewan on Wednesday after it suggested the federal government is downloading refugee health-care costs on to the provinces.

“If the government of Saskatchewan thinks that illegal immigrants or asylum claimants or other foreign nationals deserve a higher level of care than … some Canadians through some provincial plans, they have the prerogative to provide such services,” Kenney said during a Wednesday appearance at a Commons immigration committee.

The issue of refugee health-care access made headlines last week when Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall criticized the federal government for recent changes made to the Interim Federal Health Program. The program provides temporary coverage for refugee claimants and other groups that don’t qualify for provincial health insurance.

“It’s unbelievable that some of the decisions that have been taken federally are having this impact on people who are clearly the most vulnerable, refugees who are obviously fleeing something quite terrible — that’s why they’re refugees,” Wall said last Thursday.

Wall made the comments after a Saskatoon refugee was reportedly unable to access appropriate cancer services.

Saskatchewan’s health ministry has called for the feds to revisit the federal changes, but Kenney says the government has “already reviewed the program” and he claims it “finds the right balance.”

“We do fund chemotherapy treatments for asylum claimants,” Kenney said. “Some provinces, however, do not provide the out of hospital pharmaceuticals.”

Categories: General

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  1. John Desmier says:

    Why are we letting in these refugees that require expensive medical treatments?

    I thought we needed refugees who were able to work and pay taxes, not drain our system.

    These people come here and suck our system dry when our seniors have their medical benefits that they have paid into all these years, cut back.

    Where is the common sense?

    There was a time when you immigrated to Canada, that you had to speak either English of French and have proof that you had a job waiting for you.

    There were no handouts or welfare no free anything.

    Now they arrive here with no language skills, work skills and any redeemable qualities, just a hand out for what ever they can get from the Canadian Taxpayers.

    Enough is enough.

  2. dave777 says:

    Why should refugees or any other group for than mater be treated with preference over others?

    This is discrimination by preference. Thise programs need to be canceled and refugees can use the same system as anyone else gets.

    And why the Charter of Rights is a major flawed document, the people of Canada should bite the bullet and revise the equality statement to exclude government bias and preference discriminations.

    Our rights should be simple, without exception all people are equal in taxation, services and law….no exceptions.

    The rest is bigotry and preference discrimination.

  3. Tuvor Zorbin says:

    Those of us who came here with no help at all, endured racism, learned to adapt and worked hard to pay for everything we needed and had to extras are not going to stay passive and quiet.

    We did not struggle to get ahead and adapt to the host culture only to see others destroy what we’ve learned to accept as our culture too only be destroyed by groups with insatiable expectations.

    It might not be so offensive if there were excesses in all the services “refugees” want but there is a shortage and many fellow Canadians now suffer from a roof over their heads and medical services. No way will we tolerate non-contributors coming in and taking away from us what we worked to build against enormous obstacles and agonizing deprivation. Now that we’ve got something – damned if we’ll have it given away to someone else!

  4. Brian Ottawa says:

    John Desmier is 100% CORRECT!

    This is the kind of Member of Parliament that we require to save Canada!

    CTV News Ottawa, Nov. 29, 2012 showed an immigrant woman about 30 years of age, arrived in Ottawa in August and is still housed in a motel room with her six (6) children spaced about one year apart. No mention or sign of a husband or father of children! The End Homelessness Organization is whining that something must be done. We have 35,000 subsidized housing units in Ottawa, out of a total of +-200,000. Soon everyone will be out their own homes because they can no longer affort the High Property Taxes. Where did this woman come from before arriving in Ottawa? Now we are stuck with providing housing, and food and everything else as she will never have a job to support herself and 6 children for at least the next 10 years.

  5. john stewart says:

    They treat the vets and wounded soldiers like crap,and they have nerve to let people who would sooner kill us in? They want everything but the don’t want to speak English,learn our ways,send them back

  6. Pegger says:

    John those you are referring to are called immigrants. Refugees are a different category. Brad Wall is just doing the humane thing in this case. The harper conservatives don’t know the meaning of the word humane. That’s why they are cutting back services for our seniors who have paid into the system for decades.

  7. BBT says:

    I guess some people’s compassion turns on Sunday morning and lasts until they leave their church, very handy. To come to a new country and discover you are suffering from some form of cancer is devastating enough but to find you can’t be treated because the Fed Gov’t says you can’t because you hav’nt lived here long enough. Way to go Harp, I want to belong to the church you attend, seems pretty loose.

  8. BBT says:

    I wonder what happens to the boatload of refugees that Kenny welcomed with open arms? Did he send them back to their country of origin?

  9. hal wood says:

    There are too many people arriving in Canada with illnesses. Too many times I have heard shortly after arriving the refugee was found to have cancer or AIDs or tuberculosis and other diseases that Canada had pretty well eradicated here. Some people that work in the refugee system are cheating Canadians

  10. Lindsay says:

    I agree with John Desmier.

  11. Raj says:

    Hello Mr John,
    Excuse me! Could you tell me what percentage of immigrants are on welfare.Answer is minimal.Secondly,check around you how many asian doctors,engineers around you.And you are saying they don’t have any skills.
    Canada is not only belong to you and is the land of immigrants.My point is fix internal problem first before condeming immigrants.Ask these questions to Canadian people(like you)?
    – Can you do 2-3 jobs in a day?
    NO! but immigrants are doing it 7 days a week and 365 days a year.
    -Why you can not find a job?
    because these immigrants are taking our jobs.But reality is that they are more hard working people.
    So please stop saying bad about immigrants because in that way you are condeming yourself too.Yes there are some issues with immigration but it doesn’t mean all immigrants are bad.
    Think Canada without immigrants! NOTHING
    Trust me!
    Have a nice day!

  12. Ken Clements says:

    If Mr Wall feels that strongly about the refugees getting the absolute best medical services in Canada, then his government should fund anything not covered by the federal system. It’s too bad that Mr Wall doesn’t feel as strongly about veterans and the seniors getting top rated medical care. One would have thought that the people who helped to build Sasakatchewan would have been his top priority and not someone who arrives here already ill and hasn’t contributed one thing towards his province. I get fed up listening to politicians whine about the refugees and demanding they receive the best services possible. Many Canadians are tired of watching our good will and compassion being exploited by bleeding heart politicians.

  13. David Culham says:

    Kenney gets it right. He does his homework and responds reasonably and intelligently

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