‘Showing his real face’: Outrage at Viktor Orban’s ‘race-mixing’ comments

Speaks for itself (former Canadian PM Harper, chair of the International Democrat Union (IDU), of which Orban’s party Fidesz is a member, has been silent to date on Orban’s authoritarian and xenophobic policies):

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban has long posed as a defender of “western civilisation” against outside influences he deems invasive.

The populist has dismissed multiculturalism as an illusion and argued that Christian and Muslims “will never unite” in a single society – a view he has used as grounds for rejecting refugees and strengthening border control.

Now 12 years into his reign and recently emboldened by the biggest election victory in post-Soviet Hungarian history, the Fidesz party leader has again spoken out against diversity, this time shocking even longtime observers with his comments.

In a speech at Romanian university Baile Tusnad on Saturday, he said: “We [Hungarians] are not a mixed race… and we do not want to become a mixed race,” adding that western European countries could no longer be considered nations due to intermingling among Europeans and non-Europeans.

Opposition politicians recoiled at the prime minister’s segregationist tone. Katlin Cseh of the centrist Momentum Movement party tweeted: “To all ‘mixed race’ people in Hungary, whatever this senseless racist outburst means: your skin colour may be different, you may come from Europe or beyond – you are one of us, we are proud of you.

“Diversity strengthens the nation, it does not weaken it.”

She added: “His statements recall a time I think we would all like to forget.”

Guy Verhofstadt, MEP for Renew Europe and a persistent critic of Mr Orban, said the Hungarian leader was “showing his real face because he knows from experience Europe is too weak to confront him”.

Though Hungary remains in the European Union, the republic’s shift to “illiberal democracy” under Mr Orban has grated against the bloc’s stated fundamental principles of freedom, democracy and equality.

Mr Orban’s Fidesz party has grabbed control of around 80 per cent of independent media in Hungary and was this year warned by the EU to respect the rule of law after trying to force through constitutional changes despite judicial opposition.

Former vice president of the European Commission, Viviane Reading, said she feared Mr Orban’s government planned to use the two-thirds majority it won in the April national elections to claim public support for overruling Hungary’s independent courts.

Though the bloc has moved towards a potential funding cut for Hungary, commissioners are yet to bring anything like the fines imposed on Poland for its breaches of judicial independence.

Besides the views of his opponents, Mr Orban’s comments raise questions for American conservatives charmed by the Hungarian leader’s zeal for Christian dominance, which he punctuates with warnings that all other routes spell western decline.

His Romanian speech came a little less than a fortnight before his scheduled appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference(CPAC) taking place in Texas on 4-7 August, set to be the biggest event in the American right-wing calendar.

The prime minister will share a bill with former US president Donald Trump, right-wing talk show host and former politician Nigel Farage and many of America’s other right-wing darlings including Republican senator Ted Cruz and strategist Steve Bannon, who last week was found guilty of contempt for ignoring a subpoena from the US Congress examining events of 6 January 2021.

Explaining Mr Orban’s invitation to the conference, Matt Schlapp, head of CPAC, said: “What we like about him is that he’s actually standing up for the freedom of his people against the tyranny of the EU.

“He’s captured the attention of a lot of people, including a lot of people in America who are worried about the decline of the family.”

In May, CPAC held its first conference in Europe, choosing Hungary as its host and Mr Orban as a headline speaker.

The prime minister used his speech to promote Hungary as “the bastion of conservative Christian values in Europe” and urged US conservatives to defeat “the dominance of progressive liberals in public life” as he said he had done at home.

The alignment of views appears to have a deep bond between the two conservative movements but experts speculate that it is only superficial and the true appeal of Mr Orban to America’s right-wing lies in his peaceful consolidation of authoritarian power.

Source: ‘Showing his real face’: Outrage at Viktor Orban’s ‘race-mixing’ comments

HARPER: Corbyn’s antisemitism is a threat to all of us

Consistent with the Harper government’s position and focus on antisemitism (and, IMO, relative neglect of other forms of xenophobia and discrimination):

The rise in antisemitism across Europe should be alarming to all of us, and not just for moral reasons. History shows that the mindset which embraces antisemitism rarely restricts its hatred to the Jewish minority.

Today’s threats against Europe’s Jewish populations are both different and more diverse than those in the past. Far-right extremism is still with us, but now represents only one slice of the problem. Radical, jihadist Islam is now the much larger threat. However, the far-left has also become a substantial source of antisemitism.

Today’s hard-left exhibits a particularly pernicious form of antisemitism – one couched in anti-racism rhetoric to make it socially acceptable in polite company. It is not the Jews, they claim, who are uniquely evil among the nations. It just happens to be Israel, the Jewish state, that is the source of such malevolence.

And so we arrive at the sorry phenomenon that is Britain’s Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn – a man who lays wreaths at the graves of anti-Semitic terrorists, and then thinly papers over his actions with nonsensical hair-splitting. Mr Corbyn’s comfort in the company of anti-Semites and other extremists whom he calls “friends” speaks for itself. While he claims to embrace such individuals in the name of “peace,” it is a peace that only ever involves the enemies of the West generally and of the Jewish people specifically.

From the highest levels to the foot soldiers of Corbyn’s Momentum, not a day goes by without another vile display of antisemitism, darkly hinting about an omnipresent Jewish cabal, controlling the media and conspiring for their comrade-leader’s downfall. In the meantime, Mr Corbyn cannot even pretend to take the issue of antisemitism seriously, all the while claiming to be “a life-long anti-racist.”

The naked reality underlying Labour’s refusal to accept the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism is that Mr Corbyn and his allies have no intention of stopping their overt attacks on the Jewish state. Perhaps the growing political pressure will force them to do so, but either way their views are now plainly evident.

It is the far-left’s obsession with Israel that concerns us most specifically. Our organization is premised on a simple demand: A fair debate about that country, on the same terms which we extend to debates on all other countries. Today’s antisemitism all too often manifests itself in the singling out of Israel, depicted as a uniquely horrific place, responsible for all the ills of the Middle East, if not the world.

A fair examination would show that nothing could be further from the truth. Israel grapples with some of the most acute challenges the West faces in defending ourselves against jihadist aggression while maintaining modern, open societies. Israel carries this burden admirably, sustained by a democratic polity and a civil judiciary that, in some instances, surpass our own practices. It does this despite having been repeatedly tested under fire in ways our own citizens would simply not tolerate.

It is time to strip away all the rhetoric and rationalizations. Mr. Corbyn and his allies hate Israel uniquely and obsessively. Under his leadership, Israel – and thus any Jew daring to identify with it – will face relentless slander. He, and those who share such malignant views, must be exposed and opposed at every opportunity.

Source: https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/harper-corbyns-anti-semitism-is-a-threat-to-all-of-us

Handling the public policy hot potatoes

Rachel Curran, former director of policy to former PM Harper, argues correctly for governments to “embrace debate.” While some, of course, will dispute the record of the Harper government with respect to its receptivity to debate, it nevertheless is sound advice to all governments and public servants.

Her point about diversity of political views, apart from her reflexive reference to elites (of which she is one), is particularly important, as well as, of course, not automatically labelling as, for example, “elitist” or xenophobic:

The most important lesson from our summer of discontent, however, is this: we should not shy away from the necessary and inevitable debates around policy-making in sensitive areas. Too often in Canada, governments avoid so-called “third rail” policy issues because they are afraid of the political consequences. That doesn’t serve our country or its citizens well.

The Harper government never returned to the problems it was attempting to address in Bill C-30, and our police forces still don’t have the tools they need to fight online crime effectively. Our employment insurance system continues to perpetuate a widespread system of part-time employment in some regions, while leaving full-time workers without needed coverage in others. Jurisdictions elsewhere in the world with mixed public/private healthcare systems achieve notably better outcomes, spending less money per capita, than we do. But we are not talking — really talking — about any of these issues. In that sense, it is a blessing when internal and external events coincide to force a public conversation on an issue like immigration or our refugee system.

Government aside, as a society we should not be afraid of public debate, or differences in outlook. Elite Canadian opinion, whether represented in the media, academia, think tanks, or even the business world, is often reluctant to tolerate and accommodate dissent, or to provide space for alternate views. Suppressing freedom of thought and speech does not suppress or eliminate opinions we find uncomfortable or unpleasant; in fact, the opposite is true. Shutting down the expression of alternate views simply encourages individuals to seek out less productive outlets, because there is no space or voice for them in mainstream discussion.

We need to actively embrace difference. Diversity does not just encompass ethnicity or gender or sexual orientation; it also includes political and cultural views. This does not mean tolerating hate speech or exhortations to violence, but it does mean accommodating opinions and concerns without painting them as de facto racist, for example. Vigorous disagreements on matters of policy and politics are not cause for hand-wringing, but are indicative of a dynamic and thriving democracy. Only when our public discussion is fully open and honest will we also have public policy that is truly representative and informed.

Source: Handling the public policy hot potatoes

Stephen Harper leaves divisive legacy at home as he eyes global business – The Globe and Mail

Good comments on new Canadian voters:

They can blame him [Harper] for other things, too. His scorched earth election strategy drove suburban immigrant voters out of the Conservative coalition, leaving the party weakened in the all-important ridings of Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver. The niqab debate. Barbaric cultural practices. Worst of all, according to senior Conservatives, the law to strip dual citizens who commit certain crimes of their citizenship. That one killed them at the door in the 905.

Whoever Mr. Harper was trying to win over with these toxic policies during the 2015 election campaign, the price he paid in immigrant votes and the votes of those who welcome immigrants was high. The new leader will have a long row to hoe to win them back.

Source: Stephen Harper leaves divisive legacy at home as he eyes global business – The Globe and Mail

Komagatu Maru Apology

This has been a long-standing issue for many in the Indo-Canadian community, particularly Sikh Canadians. Reading the announcement, reminded me of the previous attempt by former Prime Minister Harper to do so at an Indo-Canadian community picnic on 3 August 2008.

It was a “drive-by” apology, to use my irreverent words, given that the PM and his party had to beat a hasty retreat after one activist seizing the mike and denouncing the fact that it was not delivered in Parliament. See Harper apologizes in B.C. for 1914 Komagata Maru incident, CBC, 3 August 2008.

My takeaway from that incident (I was present) was that any apology, if made, should be done in the House of Commons (as was the case for Japanese wartime internment, the Chinese head tax and residential school abuse). Any other approach made the community being apologized to feel second-rate, as was the case with Italian Canadian wartime restrictions (former PM Mulroney delivered an apology at a dinner) or the above case of the Komagata Maru).

So while there will be predictable debate about whether an apology is warranted, the House is the appropriate forum.

An Indo-Canadian friend of mine reminded me that neither the Government of India or Britain have ever apologized for opening fire on the ship and killing passengers.

Will be interesting to see if Italian Canadians continue to press for a formal House apology.

Text of the PM press release:

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that on May 18, 2016, he will make a formal apology in the House of Commons for the Komagata Maru incident.

This year will mark the 102nd anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident, where 376 passengers of mostly Sikh descent arrived in Vancouver and were refused entry into Canada due to the discriminatory laws of the time.

The Prime Minister made the announcement at Vaisakhi on the Hill concluding a three day religious ceremony, where Sikh scriptures were read continuously to commemorate Vaisakhi.


“As a nation, we should never forget the prejudice suffered by the Sikh community at the hands of the Canadian government of the day.  We should not – and we will not.”
– Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“An apology made in the House of Commons will not erase the pain and suffering of those who lived through that shameful experience.  But an apology is not only the appropriate action to take, it’s the right action to take, and the House is the appropriate place for it to happen.”
– Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

And the full remarks of the PM at the Vaisakhi ceremony on the Hill:

This year will mark the 102nd anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident where 376 passengers of mostly Sikh descent arrived in Vancouver and were refused entry to Canada due to the discriminatory laws of the time. The passengers of the Komagata Maru like millions of immigrants to Canada since were seeking refuge and better lives for their families. With so much to contribute to their new home, they chose Canada and we failed them utterly. As a nation, we should never forget the prejudice suffered by the Sikh community at the hands of the Canadian government of the day. We should not and we will not. That is why next month, on May 18, I will stand in the House of Commons and offer a full apology for the Komagata Maru incident.

An apology made in the House of Commons will not erase the pain and suffering of those who lives through that shameful experience, but an apology is not only the appropriate action to take, it’s the right action to take and the House is the appropriate place for it to happen. It was in the House of Commons that the laws that prevented the passengers from disembarking were first passed and so it’s fitting that the government should apologize there on behalf of all Canadians. It’s what the victims of the Komagata Maru incident deserve and we owe them nothing less.

Just as we look back and acknowledge where we’re failed, so too do we need to celebrate the remarkable success of the Sikh community here in Canada and Vaisakhi is the perfect opportunity to do just that. April is a special month, not only for Sikhs but for all Canadians. It marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Charter of rights and freedoms which ensures that no Canadian needs to make the choice between their religion and activities in their day-to-day lives. The charter ensures that the five Ks are protected. As Canadian Sikhs gather with their loved ones to mark the creation of the Khalsa, it’s a chance to reflect on shared values and celebrate the successes of the past year.

What Justin Trudeau said today about the Komagata Maru incident

ICYMI: How Ann Coulter inspired Donald Trump

Interesting little nugget connected to Canadian politics, the reference in the last para to Peter Brimelow, a seminal influence on the Reform party and Stephen Harper, according to William Johnson and Paul Wells.

Helps explain some of the anti-Muslim rhetoric during the last campaign:

Being a pundit is a show business occupation, and Coulter, like many show business stars, seemed to have been supplanted by younger models. She had become famous in the cable TV world of the 1990s as a good-looking blond lawyer willing to say the most outrageous things about liberals, especially Bill Clinton. As this kind of put-down became more common, and channels like Fox News put conservative blond women all over television, her uniqueness seemed to fade and her sales with it: in 2011, the Washington Post reported weak sales for her book Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America.

¡Adios, America! changed that, debuting at No. 2 on the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list and reinventing Coulter’s image. The younger pundits who were eclipsing her have been thrown for a loop by Trump’s rise—Glenn Beck contributed to National Review’s “Against Trump” issue last month—and left Coulter as the voice of pro-Trump punditry. When Trump walked out on a Fox News Republican debate, Coulter, writing in the Hollywood Reporter this week, trashed Fox as “trivial and self-important” and praised Trump as the only candidate who “takes principled stands.” Trump fans can count on her to defend their idol against mainstream conservatism.

If Trump is pulling Coulter back into the limelight, she might end up pulling a lot of other people in with her. The Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out that Coulter “routinely cites white nationalists” in ¡Adios, America! In an interview with Chronicles magazine, she stated that one of her key inspirations for writing the book was Alien Nation author Peter Brimelow, who recently called for the expulsion of Muslims from the U.S. and declared “whites are America.” A year ago, such associations seemed like a bad move for a mainstream conservative. But, thanks to Donald Trump, Ann Coulter might be the head of the new conservative mainstream.

Source: How Ann Coulter inspired Donald Trump

Canada, the country that nationalism side-swiped: Salutin | Toronto Star

Salutin on the perverse, counter-intuitive nature of Canadian nationalism:

Here’s where it starts to get paradoxical. Stephen Harper, during his reign, tried to become the voice of Canadian nationalism in the traditional, exclusivist sense. He promoted militarism, including symbols like the Highway of Heroes, and shopworn imperial imagery like the Royal Family. He promoted undercurrents of xenophobia, nativism and racism in his policies toward immigrants and especially refugees, who were despicably treated. These became overcurrents during the election, with his attacks on Muslim headgear, the “barbaric cultural practices” snitch line and revocable citizenship.

What’s fascinating is that Justin Trudeau didn’t oppose him by declaring he was anti-nationalist, as you’d have to in, say, Serbia or Hungary. He fought back as a Canadian nationalist, defining it in terms of tolerance or even, the glory of diversity — a sharp rebuttal to most contemporary nationalism. It also had weird echoes. Justin’s dad, Pierre, rejected Quebec nationalism as parochial but embraced Canadian nationalism as a way to fight it. When he ran against Tory leader Joe Clark in 1979, Trudeau père scorned Clark’s notion that Canada was just a “community of communities,” for being wishy-washy and contentless.

Yet that’s essentially what his son endorsed. Now picture Harper: beaten not only by the son of his most reviled Canadian predecessor; but by the son’s embrace of the vision of Harper’s most loathed Conservative antecedent, Joe Clark. It’s beyond Shakespearean. Who says we don’t have a colourful history?

If we’d been more successful in creating a robust, conventional Canadian nationalism, who knows — the country mightn’t have as handily beaten back the nasty nativism cultivated by Harper. It could have provided unintended grist for his mill. So the real strength of Canadian nationalism might turn out to be its relative weakness. We’re the land that nationalism side-swiped. Lucky us.

In his book, Benedict Anderson quoted Walter Benjamin’s passage on the angel of history — based on a Paul Klee print. The angel stands looking backward sadly as history’s failures and disasters pile up at his feet. So, as history’s wind blows him into the future, he can’t see, behind him, the progress that may be about to arrive. You could call it, back to the future, in a literal sense.

Prime Minister’s Office ordered halt to refugee processing: Globe article and response

Following this Globe story, PM Harper stated that:

… when it comes to admitting refugees, his government ensures the selection of the most vulnerable people while keeping the country safe and secure.

“The audit we asked for earlier this year was to ensure that these policy objectives are being met. Political staff are never involved in approving refugee applications,” Harper said. “Such decisions are made by officials in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration.”

No PMO vetting of refugees, say Conservatives

But it appears that it was not prompted by security:

Sources tell CTV News that a temporary halt to the processing of some Syrian refugees was ordered earlier this year to make sure the types favoured by the Prime Minister’s Office were being prioritized.

Department of Citizenship and Immigration insiders told CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife that PMO staff went through the files to ensure that persecuted religious minorities with established communities already in Canada — ones that Conservative Leader Stephen Harper could court for votes — were being accepted. Insiders say PMO actively discouraged the department from accepting applications from Shia and Sunni Muslims.

Private applications, which are often from church groups, were allowed to continue while the rest were on hold.

Should this be true, it is highly inappropriate both in substance (taking identity and ‘shopping for votes’ politics to a new level) and in process (PMO directed rather than PCO directed), not to mention morally wrong given the impact on refugees and the delays incurred.

During my time at PCO (1998-2000), when PMO had concerns about handling of files, PCO would play a strong policy coordination (and sometimes direction) to departments in close coordination with PMO. But the bureaucratic chain of command was respected.

This indicates a lack of confidence of CIC (and Minister Alexander’s ability to direct the department) to implement preferences for more vulnerable ethnic groups. Globe article that started it all below:

The Prime Minister’s Office directed Canadian immigration officials to stop processing one of the most vulnerable classes of Syrian refugees this spring and declared that all UN-referred refugees would require approval from the Prime Minister, a decision that halted a critical aspect of Canada’s response to a global crisis.

The Globe and Mail has learned that the Prime Minister intervened in a file normally handled by the Citizenship and Immigration department in the months before dramatic images of a dead toddler brought the refugee crisis to the fore. The processing stop, which was not disclosed to the public, was in place for at least several weeks. It is unclear when it was lifted. At the same time, an audit was ordered of all Syrian refugees referred by the United Nations in 2014 and 2015.

The Prime Minister’s Office asked Citizenship and Immigration for the files of some Syrian refugees so they could be vetted by the PMO – potentially placing political staff with little training in refugee matters in the middle of an already complex process.

PMO staff could have also had access to files that are considered protected, because they contain personal information, including a refugee’s health history and narrative of escape, raising questions about the privacy and security of that information and the basis on which it was being reviewed.

As a result of the halt, and the additional layers of scrutiny, families that had fled Syria and were judged by the United Nations refugee agency to be in need of resettlement had to wait longer to find refuge in Canada. It also meant there were fewer cases of UN-referred Syrians approved and ready for sponsorship when the public came forward in large numbers after the drowning death of three-year-old Alan Kurdi in August.

The Prime Minister’s Office did not directly respond to a request for comment, nor did it confirm Stephen Harper’s involvement.

A spokesman for Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, however, said the government was concerned about the integrity of the system and ensuring that security was not compromised in any way.

“The processing of Syrian Government Assisted Refugees resumed only after there was confidence that our procedures were adequate to identify those vulnerable persons in most need of protection while screening out threats to Canada,” said Chris Day, spokesman for Mr. Alexander. He noted that processing of privately sponsored refugees, who are not referred by the UN but by their Canadian sponsors and who make up a growing portion of Canada’s refugees, continued throughout this period.

Critics have long complained about the centralization of decision-making in the PMO – and it would be unusual for a prime minister to sign off on refugee files that have already been vetted by the UN refugee agency, Canadian visa officials and in a small minority of cases by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Canada Border Services Agency.

Source: Prime Minister’s Office ordered halt to refugee processing – The Globe and Mail

Stephen Harper writes open letter to Canada’s ‘world-class public service’ in order to correct ‘misinformation’ | National Post

This is funny and is likely not targeted at public service voters:

After publicly taking swipes on the campaign trail at bureaucrats in Ottawa, Stephen Harper and the Conservatives say they are the party to best protect the interests of federal public servants and are proud of Canada’s “world-class public service.”

Harper released an open letter Thursday to Canada’s public service that thanks them for their hard work on implementing government policies and cutting red tape, but also tries to correct “misinformation” he says is being spread by opposition parties and unions about the government’s plans on sick leave and pensions.

With Conservatives facing tough challenges in a number of Ottawa-area constituencies – including John Baird’s former riding of Ottawa West-Nepean – the Tories put on a full-court press Thursday to try to solidify the support of voters in the National Capital Region and combat recent announcements from the NDP and Liberals about their commitments to the public service.

Unfortunately, in the current election context, misleading statements are being made about certain issues that matter to you and your families, including sick leave and pension entitlements

Senior Ottawa Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, flanked by several Ottawa-area Conservative candidates, Thursday unveiled Harper’s letter to the public service and try to reassure bureaucrats that they have nothing to fear should the Conservatives win another mandate.

Harper, in his two-page letter, lauded the work of federal bureaucrats in Ottawa and elsewhere.

“Canadians are well-served by our world-class public service, and I have seen this first-hand as Prime Minister. During our time in Government, we have worked with you to ensure your efforts are focused on the things that matter most to Canadians, and to create a healthier workplace where good work is recognized, red tape is removed, and benefits meet real needs,” Harper says in the open letter.

“Unfortunately, in the current election context, misleading statements are being made about certain issues that matter to you and your families, including sick leave and pension entitlements.”

Source: Stephen Harper writes open letter to Canada’s ‘world-class public service’ in order to correct ‘misinformation’ | National Post

Full text of the letter: Open letter 2[1]

Harper says only bogus refugees are denied health care. He’s wrong.

Good piece in Macleans:

Prime Minister Harper was indignant: “We have not taken away health care from immigrants and refugees. On the contrary, the only time we’ve removed it is where we had clearly bogus refugees who have been refused and turned down. We do not offer them a better health care plan than the ordinary Canadian can receive. That is not something that new and existing and old-stock Canadians agree with.”

Harper’s reference to “old-stock Canadians” got lots of attention. But what’s far more shocking, say refugee experts, is his stony denial of the truth: that the Conservative government has diminished the medical insurance provided to most refugees in Canada—tens of thousands of them, in fact.

As Maclean’s recently reported, the Conservative government made cuts to the Interim Federal Health (IFH) program in 2012 that drastically reduced the medical insurance provided to refugees who are privately sponsored or who make a refugee claim upon arriving in Canada. The two groups represent 59,285 of the refugees who came to Canada between 2012 and 2014, show the latest data from Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The cuts also affect more than 7,000 “legacy claimants” who arrived before December 2012 and are awaiting their claim hearing, according to the Canadian Council for Refugees.

These groups of refugees no longer have health insurance for prescription medications, and “supplemental” coverage for services such as prosthetics, physiotherapy and counselling, as well as emergency dental and vision care. (Pregnant women and children have been granted temporary coverage for medications, until the federal Court of Appeal decides later this year whether the cuts should be reversed. Children also receive supplemental coverage.)

The only group not affected by the IFH cuts is government-assisted refugees, of which 18,646 were resettled in Canada between 2012 and 2014. They receive the same health insurance as the lowest-income Canadians.

“They’ve repeatedly tried to sell the cuts to the public by saying they are only taking away gold-plated health care from bogus refugees,” says Dr. Hasan Sheikh, an Ottawa physician and member of Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care, of the Conservative government. “That is absolutely not true.”
Harper’s reference to “bogus claimants” during the debate is particularly noteworthy—and cringe-worthy, say refugee advocates. It’s a term that’s been used by Harper, as well as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander, and his predecessor Jason Kenney, many times since 2012, as well as by other Conservative MPs during debates in the House of Commons.

Source: Harper says only bogus refugees are denied health care. He’s wrong.