Liberal MPs Oppose Conservative Cuts to Refugee Benefits
“Community speaks out at roundtable held in Scarborough”
By A Correspondent
Liberal MPs Arnold Chan (Scarborough-Agincourt), John McCallum (Markham-Unionville) and John McKay (Scarborough-Guildwood) hosted a successful roundtable on November 15 where concerns were expressed regarding the Conservative plan to limit refugee claimants’ access to social assistance.
Originally first brought forth as a private member’s bill by Conservative MP Corneliu Chisu (Pickering-Scarborough East), the government has expedited this concerning piece of legislation by burying it in the latest omnibus budget act – Bill C-43. “It’s truly disturbing that this government is continuing its attack on refugees by attempting to deny them the most basic level income. What’s even more upsetting is that the government has admitted that not one province requested these powers, and that there was no consultation with groups that worked with refugees,” said Mr. McCallum.
“Refugees come to Canada, often fleeing terrible danger in their home countries. Because of the actions of our current Government, they now find themselves without the basic healthcare some desperately need. These measures add insult to injury by removing social assistance to those who cannot work because of their status in Canada. Some of Scarborough’s most vulnerable have fled terrible situations expecting open arms only to find closed doors. We were proud to meet with the people of Scarborough and let them know exactly what this odious bill will do to our community’s most vulnerable members,” continued Mr. McKay.
“Canada is known for its compassion in assisting refugees from around the world,” said Mr. Chan. “These measures are designed to make it harder for the most vulnerable refugees to settle in Canada and flee prosecution. After introducing cuts to refugee healthcare, it was important to have a public dialogue to highlight another mean-spirited move by the Conservative government.”