Court rules against Conservative government’s refugee health cuts
The Federal Court ruling striking down Ottawa’s cutbacks to health care coverage for refugee claimants because it constitutes “cruel and unusual” treatment is being lauded as a victory for “human rights, for human dignity and for compassion.”
“The decision makes clear that a government cannot deliberately subject human beings to physical and emotional suffering as a means of punishing them for seeking refugee protection,” said Audrey Macklin, professor and chair in human rights law at the University of Toronto, and executive member of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers.
How nice for us!
The health program in question came into effect last month and eliminated certain health benefits for refugees, including dental work, vision care and prescription medication.
Kenney 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.