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Liberals Push for Committee Study on Irresponsible Cuts to Refugee Care

Liberals Push for Committee Study on Irresponsible Cuts to Refugee Care

Posted on July 31, 2012

OTTAWA– The Conservative government’s cuts to refugee health care will have an irreparable impact on the most vulnerable members of our society, especially children and youth, and must be studied by Parliament, said Liberal Citizenship and Immigration critic Kevin Lamoureux today.

“These cuts could mean that young refugees are denied assistance with the cost of vision care, life-saving prescriptions for illnesses like diabetes or epilepsy, and necessary mental health treatment to cope with the trauma they escaped, all of which are essential to becoming productive members of Canadian society,” said Mr. Lamoureux. “To add insult to injury, the Minister in charge of ramming these damaging cuts through has used inflammatory and insulting language to demonize refugees, sending a clear message that Canada is no longer a safe haven for those facing violence and persecution.”

The Liberal Party has been calling on the Conservative government to reverse these irresponsible cuts for months, but to no avail. As such, in the upcoming fall sitting of Parliament, Liberals will introduce a motion to conduct an in-depth study of these cuts at the House of Commons Citizenship and Immigration Committee, in order to gauge their effect on the most vulnerable and make constructive recommendations for modernizing the refugee health care system in consultation with health care providers and other levels of government.

“The Conservatives have been trying to force their ideological changes through without discussion and without regard for the most vulnerable,” said Mr. Lamoureux. “Changes to refugee health care must not be made until a transparent and comprehensive consultation by the Citizenship and Immigration committee has taken place with the input of experts and practitioners. That is what the Liberals will be pushing for when Parliament resumes in September.”