NDP supports overturning of harmful Conservative cuts to refugee care by Federal Court

CONFIRMING what the NDP has been saying for months, the Federal Court ruled on Friday that the government cannot continue to blatantly disregard basic human rights and that Conservative changes to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) constituted cruel and unusual treatment of refugees and therefore violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“Conservatives have repeatedly played politics with the lives of vulnerable people,” said Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe, NDP critic for Citizenship and Immigration. “Today, the court has told them in no uncertain terms that they have to stop.”

The Federal Court decision found that the government’s changes to the Interim Federal Health Program put the lives of some of Canada’s most vulnerable residents at risk. “The 2012 modifications to the IFHP potentially jeopardize the health, and indeed the very lives, of these innocent and vulnerable children in a manner that shocks the conscience and outrages Canadian standards of decency,” wrote Justice Anne Mactavish.

“Our country was built on the idea that we have a responsibility to look after one another,” added NDP Multiculturalism Critic Andrew Cash. “Conservatives cannot continue to trample on core Canadian values like equality and generosity. Canadians will always have their say in the end.”