Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Not In My Name, Please

In a regime rife with duplicity, one of the most dishonest aspects of the Harper cabal is its endless capacity to pretend that the decisions it makes and the legislation it enacts are being done 'for the people'. One of most recent examples of this egregious misrepresentation is the decision by the federal government last year to cut off medical care for failed refugee claimants when

it amended the interim federal health program to reduce coverage for most refugees and discontinue basic care to asylum seekers from so-called “safe countries, failed refugees and others sponsored by community groups such as churches to resettle here from overseas camps.

The federal government said the cuts could save taxpayers $100 million over five years and genuine refugees continue to receive comprehensive health care coverage on par with what Canadians receive.

Not only was this an anti-humanitarian measure wholly at odds with our country's former and proud tradition of helping the disadvantaged, it was done dishonestly, the Harper cabal employing the fiction that it was simply responding to public demand:

“Canadians have been clear that they do not want failed asylum claimants and asylum claimants from safe countries receiving better health-care benefits than Canadian taxpayers,” Alexis Pavlich, spokesperson for Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, said in an email.

“Our government listened and acted with regard to Canadian taxpayers’ concerns on this issue, and we remain committed in our effort to preserve the integrity of our immigration system.”

I don't recall being polled on such an issue. Was the government deluged with demands that we enact such an odious measure? I would like to see the statistics behind this alleged demand.

That of course is not going to happen because, in all likelihood, it is like the 'thousands' the Tories claimed complained about the privacy intrusions posed by the mandatory long-form census questionaire that led to the decision to kill it. In truth, there was little more than a handful who objected.

By claiming to act in our name, this government is slandering all of us in its attempt to remake Canada into a leaner, meaner, and more American environment where individualism reigns surpreme. Fortunately, the provinces are fighting back. Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Quebec have all stepped up to provide coverage, with Ontario vowing to send the bills to Ottawa.

It would seem that Canadians' characteristic compassion is not yet dead despite the ongoing and concerted efforts by the neoconservatives to kill it.


  1. The code word is "taxpayers," Lorne. When the Harperites -- and Rob Ford -- use the term taxpayers instead of citizens, you know they're lying to you.

    1. The language of fiscal rectitude does indeed hide a multitude of sins, Owen.