BIAC stands with refugees against health care cuts

The Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign joins health workers, refugees, and refugee rights advocates across the country in rejecting the federal government’s cuts to refugee health care.

On June 30, all refugee claimants lost their health benefits for prescription drugs, dental work, visiion care and medical devices. Refugees from countries that the government – in its sole discretion – deems “safe” have been stripped of access to all health services unless their illness poses a risk to the public.

These cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program are inhumane and an attack on some of the most marginalized communities and individuals in the country – refugees and migrant workers. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney propounded these cuts – the latest attack from Kenney on immigrant and refugee communities that criminalizes refugees as unwanted, intruders and threats.

Palestinians are the world’s largest refugee population. Forced from their homes and homeland in 1948 by the Zionist armies creating the State of Israel, Palestinian refugees now number over 7,000,000 people, denied their right to return by the state of Israel.

Palestinian refugees – like all refugees – were forced from their own homes and lands due to oppression, occupation and colonization. Instead of being welcomed and provided with the supports and services needed for their lives, however, migrants and refugees are being criminalized by the government of Canada.

The government has been forced to back down on several of its planned cuts thanks to the action of refugees, health workers and other voices for justice and equality. BIAC joins these voices in calling for a complete and immediate end to the cuts to the IFHP and the criminalization and further marginalization of migrant and refugee communities, and stands in solidarity with all refugees in demanding justice, human rights, and the ability to live in dignity and to seek return in safety.

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