If you want to sign a petition thanking Immigration Minister Jason Kenney for his efforts to reduce health benefits for refugees, look no further than his own website.
“We, the undersigned, thank Jason Kenney for his efforts to streamline benefits afforded to refugees (sic) claimants under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) and bring them in line with the benefits received by taxpaying Canadians, including new Canadians,” says the petition posted to the personal website for the Conservative MP for Calgary Southeast.
A spokesperson for Kenney emailed a similar statement to the Toronto Star on Monday.
“Thousands of people have signed the petition since it was posted weeks ago. We encourage Star readers to visit JasonKenney.ca to sign the petition on the website to support the government in its efforts to make sure that bogus asylum claimants are not receiving better health care than Canadian seniors,” Alexis Pavlich wrote in the email.
Earlier this month, all refugee claimants — except for government-sponsored refugees, such as those who arrive in Canada as permanent residents — lost federally funded supplemental health benefits for prescription drugs, dental work, vision care and medical devices, such as walkers and wheelchairs.
Those refugees who are rejected after exhausting all appeals are also no longer eligible for free health care of any kind, unless their conditions pose a risk to public health or safety, such as infectious diseases like tuberculosis and HIV.
When the Conservative government eventually comes up with its list of designated “safe” countries, refugee claimants hailing from nations on that list will face the same restrictions as rejected claimants.