November 10th, 2012 ( updated November 14th)
We often hear the argument — “We can’t expect Canadian taxpayers to pay for healthcare for uninsured New Canadians”. Jason Kenney, on the I channel Documentary “Your Money or Your Life” repeated this argument. He went so far as to label New Canadians who expect differently, as “irresponsible”.
Who qualifies as a taxpayer?
Does arriving in Canada and buying a chocolate bar, where 15% of the purchase is a tax, qualify one as a taxpayer? No? How about purchasing a pair of winter boots to fend off the snow, and a winter coat and pair of gloves to fend off the cold winds of their new land? Each item has a 15% tax applied to it — tax dollars that go to support a healthcare system “Canadian taxpayers” access, but that New Canadians are denied access to.
We find the “taxpayer” argument, and Mr Kenney’s comments, ringing hollow.
Still not convinced? If a New Canadian works in a Nursing Home after arriving, and is in the 3 month wait for healthcare, and takes a job cleaning the latrines of our parent’s room in a Nursing Home, cleaning up their faeces, and paying taxes from their minimum wage – would that be enough to convince the majority of Canadians they should receive healthcare when they get an infection from this work?
That was Theresa’s job when she arrived from Bangladesh – cleaning our, our parent’s and family member’s excrement from toilets. That was when her illness struck. She was forced to go off work, unable to afford healthcare. Theresa is now a Canadian Citizen. All this happened 13 years ago, when our clinic first started. Theresa still works in that same Nursing Home, still taking care of our family and loved ones.
The Ontario Government is responsible for the policy that places thousands just like Theresa in harm’s way. Mr. Kenney is the current Current Minister of Citizenship and Immigration in Canada. He stated that taxpayers should not have helped persons like Theresa get healthcare. He has defined Theresa, and others just like her, as “irresponsible”.