The courts have dealt a blow to the Harper Government.
This time, it’s a Federal Court judge who has called Ottawa’s cutbacks to health-care coverage for refugees claimants “cruel and unusual” treatment, particularly to children.
And Justice Anne Mactavish also says the changes create 2 tiers of health coverage between refugees who are from designated countries of original, and those who are not.
Two years ago the Harper Government trimmed medical benefits for newcomers, leaving most immigrants with basic, essential health care but without supplementals such as vision and dental care.
The official opposition critic for employment and social development says The Federal Court issued a “sharp rebuke” to the Harper government’s refugee health-care system today.
North Delta NDP M-P Jinny Sims says the courts acknowledged cutbacks to coverage for refugee claimants is “mean-spirited.”
“What the cuts did was, it downloaded the costs to the provinces, because once they ended up in a hospital, then of course the provinces have to take care of the sick people, but what also happened is, many people stopped going to see their doctors.”
Rejected refugee claimants and those from countries the government considers safe are only eligible for care when they pose a threat to public health.
The feds have four months to amend the legislation.