Overwhelming Response to Refugee Health Cuts Appeal from Media and Health Professionals
On July 4, 2014, the Federal Court of Canada released a landmark decision declaring that the federal government cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program - a program that previously provided basic, life saving care to refugee claimants - are unconstittional and unlawful. The Court held that the cuts are not merely wrong, they constitute cruel and unusual treatment and violate equality rights (for more, click here).
On September 22, 2014, at the very last legal minute, the Conservative governemnt appealed this decision. Together with Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care (CDRC) and Justice for Children and Youth (JFCY), all parties to the original court action, CARL denounced the government's decision as cynical and irresponsible (for more, click here).
Since the government announced its appeal, nine health associations, including the Canadian Medical Association, have urged the government to withdraw its appeal and reinstate the Interim Federal Health Program. The media response to the appeal has also been overehwlming. Below, we compile some of these responses:
CARL, CDRC & JFCY Press Release (Oct 1, 2014): Conservative Government’s Last Minute Appeal Of Federal Court Ruling On Refugee Health Cuts Prolongs Unnecessary Suffering
Canadian Medical Association (Oct. 10, 2014): CMA urges feds to reconsider appeal against reinstateing refugee benefits
Canadian Doctors for Medicare (Oct. 6, 2014): Letter to Minister of CItizenship and Immigration: forgo appeal and reverse IFHP cuts
College of Family Physicians of Canada (Oct 6, 2014): Open Letter to Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Canadian Federation of Medical Students (Oct. 6, 2014): CFMS Calls on Federal Government to Reconsider Appeal of Refugee Health Cuts Ruling
CBC News (Oct. 1, 2014): Refugee Health-cuts Ruling Appealed by Ottawa
Toronto Star (Oct. 1, 2014): Canada can't afford to increase health care for refugees, feds say
Globe and Mail Op-Ed (Oct. 2, 2014): Canadian mean-mindedeness is back
Toronto Star Editoria (Oct. 5, 2014): Ottawa should reverse cuts to refufee health care
Embasy News (Oct.1, 2014 ): Feds Appeal Ruling Striking Down Refugee Health Cuts
Rabble.ca (Oct. 1, 2014): Harper Government appeals reinstatement of refugee health program