Ontario’s Decision to Increase Health Coverage…

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…threatens to undermine the remarkable success of

By A Correspondent

Ontario's recent decision to increase health care coverage for failed asylum seekers and to persons from democratic countries threatens to undermine the remarkable success of reforms we made last year to a refugee determination system that was widely acknowledged to be broken.

Under our government's reforms, genuine refugees are getting the protection they need much sooner and failed asylum seekers are being removed much faster. And Canada's generosity is no longer being abused. Claims from democratic countries are down by 87%, saving taxpayers more than $600 million so far in welfare, education and health care costs.

A key part of our overall reforms was to distinguish between three categories of claimants: (1) asylum seekers from war-torn and dangerous countries; (2) alleged asylum seekers from democratic countries like the United States and EU member states; and (3) failed claimants, who by definition are not refugees.

We lined up health care benefits to match genuine need, with the first category receiving the equivalent of provincial benefits and the others receiving only urgent care and treatment necessary to protect public health.

Underlying this decision was the principle that asylum seekers are not entitled to more generous benefits than Canadians and legal immigrants.

Canada is second to none in its generosity and fairness towards newcomers, as demonstrated by our generous refugee system and our world-leading refugee re settlement program.  But we have no tolerance for those who take advantage of our generosity.

That is why we oppose the Ontario Government's decision to pay for "most hospital, primary, specialist, laboratory, and diagnostic services provided in Ontario" for "refugee claimants living in Ontario, regardless of the status of their claim or the country they are from," including "rejected refugee claimants living in Ontario."

This is reckless policy.

It will force Ontario taxpayers and their families to line up for care behind failed asylum seekers, and it will make Canada - and Ontario in particular - a bigger magnet for bogus asylum seekers in the future. 

The sooner the Ontario government gets serious about protecting Ontario taxpayers and stops undermining the success of our national refugee reforms, the better and fairer it will be for all Canadians, including legal immigrants and genuine refugees.

JULY 2018

Vol. 12 - No. 12










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