Federal government to appeal ruling reversing cruel cuts to refugee health

No surprise that the Government intends to appeal, what is strong condemnation from the federal judge against the cuts to refugee claimant healthcare and a major victory for refugee advocates, if the decision is upheld by the Federal Court of Appeal and possibly Supreme Court:

Alexander said in a statement that the government “will vigorously defend the interests of taxpayers and … the integrity of our fair and generous refugee determination system.”

The court found the governments treatment of refugees is “cruel and unusual” because it jeopardizes their health and shocks the conscience of Canadians.

Judge Anne Mactavish ruled the federal cabinet has the power to make such changes and that the procedure was fair, but that the people affected by the changes are being subjected to “cruel and unusual” treatment.

“This is particularly, but not exclusively, so as it affects children who have been brought to this country by their parents,” Mactavish wrote in the 268-page decision.

“The 2012 modifications to the [Interim Federal Health Program] potentially jeopardize the health, the safety and indeed the very lives, of these innocent and vulnerable children in a manner that shocks the conscience and outrages Canadian standards of decency. “I have found as a fact that lives are being put at risk.”

Given refugee reform, particularly the safe country provisions, that have resulted in dramatic declines in numbers of refugee claimants (from 20,503 in 2012 to 10,372 in 2013 if my reading of the stats is correct).

Given this decline, and  consequent reductions in health costs, questionable whether the original rationale is as strong as before, Ministerial rhetoric notwithstanding.

Federal government to appeal ruling reversing cruel cuts to refugee health – Politics – CBC News.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

One Response to Federal government to appeal ruling reversing cruel cuts to refugee health

  1. Pingback: Refugee claimants struggling to find health care after cuts – The Globe and Mail | Multicultural Meanderings

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