December 08, 2015
OTTAWA: Canada has a generous refugee system that is based on ensuring security for the refugee and the country as well as ensuring long-term solutions for refugees who enter Canada. There is an appropriate screening process and evaluation of the ability of Canada to effectively house refugees who enter Canada.
I am pleased that the Federal government will be extending its deadline for Syrian refugees. I am disappointed that the Liberal government did not listen to a number of experts at the start who claimed the end of December 2015 goal to be impossible and could jeopardize the responsible intake of refugees. The government has now announced that it plans to bring in up to and may exceed 50,000 refugees by the end of 2016 although there is still no clear long-term solution for the 25,000 incoming refugees.
The use of military bases in Canada is an interim solution but this is not a long-term and sustainable plan. By comparison, the United States has a population of roughly 318 million people and will be aiding 10,000 Syrian refugees.
The government has also stated that it will restore supplementary health benefits to refugees in Canada – these are benefits such as dental and vision care that Canadians themselves do not receive. In 2012, the Conservative Government scaled back these benefits to ensure that healthcare provided to refugees was in line with what is provided to Canadians. Under this new plan, refugees will be receiving healthcare that is above and beyond what Canadians receive. While all Canadians expect the government to help refugees arrive safely in Canada, they do not expect that these refugees be provided with a better healthcare system than they themselves receive.
I urge Prime Minister Trudeau to re-examine his position and do what is best for all Canadians.