Canadians who wants to sign a petition showing their support for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s decision to reduce medical benefits for refugees can do so online — on Jason Kenney’s own website.
“We, the undersigned, thank Jason Kenney for his efforts to streamline benefits afforded to [refugee] claimants under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) and bring them in line with the benefits received by tax-paying Canadians, including new Canadians,” says the petition posted on jasonkenney.ca.
The health program came into effect last month and eliminated certain health benefits for refugees, including dental work, vision care and prescription medication, states National Post.
Immigration Minister justified the cuts, which have been decried by some Canadian physicians, by saying refugee claimants shouldn’t get better care than average Canadians. The cuts will also save the government $20 million a year, he said.
“We don’t think that smuggled migrants and bogus asylum claimants should be getting better health care benefits than Canadian seniors and taxpayers,” the petition says.
“We think it is important that the government scale back some of the benefits provided to refugee claimants to make sure they get essential basic care and pharmaceuticals that are necessary for public health, but that they don’t get benefits not available to the average Canadian.”