Refugees who come to Canada for shelter or aid deserve medical care just like anybody else. But two years ago, Ottawa decided that some asylum-seekers just weren't in enough danger. If a refugee's application had been rejected and they stayed in Canada to try again, or if they were from one of the countries Ottawa deemed "safe," the government decided to only grant them assistance when they were a "public health threat."
Even immigrants who had fled from war-torn areas had their coverage gutted, denying them access to visual or dental care.
For one thing, it is incredibly selfish and ridiculous to deny immigrants assistance for heart problems, pregnancy complications, or other individual issues just because they don't pose a threat to other citizens. For another, just because asylum-seekers' countries aren't hazardous doesn't mean that they themselves didn't face immense personal, and potentially even fatal, danger.
Last week, the federal court ruled that this policy was "cruel and unusual." But the government has already vowed to fight back and appeal the decision.
All refugees deserve healthcare, no matter their circumstances. Tell the government to cancel the appeal and extend medical coverage to all refugees!
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