The Harperites will troll for votes wherever they can find them. That includes immigrant communities. But, at their core, they fear "the other" -- those who don't see the world as they do. That attitude is most evident in their attitude toward refugees and their access to health care.
Carol Goar writes, in The Toronto Star, that a group of Canadian doctors and lawyers have decided to confront the Conservatives on their policy of denying healthcare to refugees:
This week, Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers joined forces to ask the Federal Court to declare the government’s action unconstitutional. To provide real-life evidence, they were joined by three men — Daniel Garcia Rodriguez of Colombia, Ahmad Awatt of Iraq and Hanif Ayubi of Afghanistan — who escaped persecution in their home countries only to be denied life-saving drugs and treatment in Canada.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney saw the action as a mere annoyance:
Kenney brushed off the court challenge summarily. “This is a dog-bites-man story,” he told reporters in Ottawa. “We have no legal, moral, political obligation to give taxpayer services to bogus asylum seekers, rejected claimants — people who are effectively illegal migrants.”
Like Tom Flanagan, he refuses to see the victims his opinions create. But the doctors and lawyers know medicine and the law, subjects on which Kenney -- a university drop out -- is ignorant:
Dr. Meb Rashid, who heads the Crossroads Clinic for Refugees at Women’s College Hospital, made the medical case. “This is far below the standard any physician would hope to provide to his or her patients,” he said. “Ultimately these reductions will cost the health-care system as much or more in emergency care — and have already caused a great deal of suffering.”
Lorne Waldman, lead counsel, made the legal case. “It is also far below the standard any democratic country should provide for refugee claimants or any other human being under their jurisdiction,” he said. “These cuts are inconsistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canada’s international obligations under the UN Refugee Convention.”
Once again, the Conservatives are coming to another reckoning with the Supreme Court. Each time that happens, they wind up on the short end. They're simply not very bright.