November 15, 2012
As Canadian citizens, at whose behest you serve, we are owed that by our Governments.
This is not a diary story. But it explains why we have so many new refugee diaries. It verifies what we have all suspected and have been saying. Finally someone who knows has admitted that the cuts to refugee healthcare were made” behind closed doors”, without consultation, minus the democracy. The following appeared in the Ottawa citizen in November 2012
“ OTTAWA — A controversial decision to strip certain refugee claimants of supplementary health benefits was apparently made behind closed doors without consultation, the government now admits.
Rick Dykstra, the parliamentary secretary to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, revealed this week that the cuts were actually part of the government’s budget tabled in March. But because budget deliberations are subject to secrecy, there was no option to get input from stakeholders, many of whom have vocally opposed the decision.”
Refugee claimant health, their lives, are now secret ”budget items”.
This is now how Canada is governed. It is how social justice and our values as a Nation are determined, for us. If we let this go by, we let everything go by. The Liberal and NDP Immigration critics had the following to say….
“At the end of the day, the minister of immigration, who failed on this whole issue and should listen to what all the stakeholders are saying and admit that he screwed up quite frankly, he didn’t do any consultation. And now he tries to pass on that he couldn’t do it because it was part of the budget? That is nothing but a cop-out. He had a moral responsibility to do some homework on this.”
NDP immigration critic Jinny Sims said she was told the policy change had nothing to do with the budget and suggested the late-day excuse is another example of “a government that is making it up as they go along.”
“There is too much power that is vested into this minister so that he avoids parliamentary oversight and parliamentary discussion and I would say Canadian oversight over the decisions he makes,” she said.
“It’s become very clear they have not thought through the real impact of the changes they are making and then they end up having to make this kind of Monty Pythonish argument that they’re making right now.”
Why did the Conservatives do it this way? Why the secrecy? Two reasons. Because they could, and because they knew any other route would not pass the smell test, and would not produce their desired result.
The more painful question is – why are we letting them?