By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 0 Comments
TORONTO, ONTARIO, – A new report suggests that Canada has the second-highest rate of…
TORONTO, ONTARIO, – A new report suggests that Canada has the second-highest rate of first-day infant mortality in the industrialized world.
Save the Children analyzed data from 176 countries, focusing on how many babies die the day they are born.
About 900 newborns die within 24 hours of their birth in Canada every year — or 2.4 out of every 1,000 babies.
Out of all the industrialized countries, only the United States has a higher rate than Canada with 11,300 newborn deaths — or 2.6 out of every 1,000 births.
But Save the Children says industrialized countries make up less than two per cent of all newborn deaths worldwide.
Developing countries account for 98 per cent of all first-day deaths, with Somalia leading the pack at 18 per 1,000 births.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 10:59 AM - 0 Comments
“I don’t think it’s just a signal. I think it’s a bullhorn,” said Dr. Greg Marchildon, Canada Research Chair in public policy and economic history at the University of Regina and former deputy minister of intergovernmental affairs for the Saskatchewan government. “Both health reform and any kind of collaborative federalism are really off the agenda for the Harper government.”
“This is really a shame,” he added. “There are very few mechanisms that we have in this country that allow us to think about the large reform issues and the Health Council was one of them.”
See previously: The quiet cuts
By Michael Friscolanti - Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 9:00 PM - 0 Comments
Keeping closer tabs will provide more freedom, says health minister
When it comes to international rankings, Norway is always near the top of the positive list. Happiest country. Most prosperous. Best place to be a mother. If the Norwegian government goes ahead with an intriguing new plan, it will soon be famous for something else: keeping close tabs on dementia patients.
Lawmakers are debating the idea of using Global Positioning Systems on those who suffer from dementia—ensuring that if they wander away from home, they won’t be missing for long. The proposed legislation would allow health care workers to decide who warrants a GPS bracelet.
A recent study found that such tracking devices drastically increase the quality of life for patients and their families, reducing stress and allowing some semblance of independence. “The patient will have greater freedom with a GPS,” says Jonas Gahr Støre, Norway’s health minister. “The alternative is often locked doors.”
Details are still not clear. Would the electronic devices be attached to a centralized alarm system? Who would respond? How far should a dementia patient be allowed to wander? But Støre did stress the tracking bracelets would be “purely a supplement” to the current care regime, not an alternative.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 2:50 PM - 0 Comments
REGINA – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says it’s not surprising that Quebec has pulled…
REGINA – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says it’s not surprising that Quebec has pulled out of a national health-care committee set up by the provinces.
Nor is it a problem for continued progress, said Wall, who chairs the group with Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz.
“As of late, Quebec has been more of a distraction at this table than a constructive partner,” Wall said Tuesday in an email to The Canadian Press.
By Ken MacQueen - Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 2:00 PM - 0 Comments
Poverty isn’t unique to Aboriginals, but Canada’s health disparities are most apparent among them
On Feb. 4, Maclean’s is hosting “Health Care in Canada: Poor Health No More,” a town hall discussion at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The free, two-hour event—focusing on the social conditions that impact the health and longevity of Canada’s Aboriginal people—is held in conjunction with the Canadian Medical Association, and will be broadcast by CPAC. The conversation on the effect of social disparities on health will continue in the coming months in the magazine, and at town halls in Hamilton, Calgary, and Charlottetown.
It was 3 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2008, when 45-year-old Brian Sinclair rolled his wheelchair into the emergency department of the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre, referred by a clinic doctor because of a bladder infection caused by a blocked catheter. He was a Metis with a cascade of social and health issues, the product of a mother haunted by her residential school experience. He had neurological and speech problems, a past history of substance abuse. He’d lost both legs to frostbite in 2007 after spending a bitter February night outside. His landlord had locked him out.
To some who saw him on the streets he was a stereotype of dysfunction. But what killed him in this busy, inner-city hospital on a September weekend were equally insidious attitudes that rendered Sinclair invisible. He spoke to a staff member at the triage desk, then rolled into the waiting area . . . and waited, vomiting and growing weaker. When he finally received medical attention—almost 34 hours later—it was to pronounce him dead. Fellow patients had found him dead in his wheelchair. The cause of death was “peritoneal infection.” A change of catheter and antibiotics could have saved him. An inquest will finally be held this August. But as a headline succinctly said, Brian Sinclair was “ignored to death.” Continue…
By macleans.ca - Monday, January 28, 2013 at 4:00 PM - 0 Comments
The tough choices that aren’t being made
This is as good as it gets, demographically speaking. Right now, Canada is in a demographic sweet spot. Our dependency ratio is currently at an all-time low of 59 dependents (those under 19 and over 65 years old) per 100 working-age adults, who pay the bills. Our share of non-workers to workers will never be so favourable again.
Two well-established trends are behind our current situation: a decline in the percentage of young Canadians due to falling birth rates; and the fact that the bulk of the baby boom generation is still working.
The problem is that this fortuitous circumstance can’t last. Public purses will soon be hit by a rising dependency ratio spurred by a flood of boomer retirees, improvements in longevity and continued sluggishness in births. In theory, governments would adapt to this changing situation by reallocating spending. In its regular update on Ottawa’s long-term fiscal outlook, for example, the parliamentary budget office recently noted that: “Population aging will put . . . upward pressure on programs whose benefits are mostly realized by Canadians in older age groups, such as health care, elderly benefits and public pension benefits.” Such a future funding crunch, however, will be “partially offset by reduced spending on programs with benefits largely focused on younger age groups, such as education.” Continue…
By The Canadian Press - Friday, January 18, 2013 at 4:50 PM - 0 Comments
CALGARY – An inquiry has heard that a private clinic at the centre of…
CALGARY – An inquiry has heard that a private clinic at the centre of an alleged queue-jumping scheme was created to reward donors of the University of Calgary, with patients funnelled through one of the most powerful doctors in the province.
Dr. Mark Swain, the head of gastroenterology for the Calgary region, says he heard those rumours about the Helios Wellness Centre, but never followed them up.
“More than one person had suggested that the Helios clinic was established as a reward for donors to the university,” Swain testified Friday at Alberta’s preferential access inquiry.
University officials did not immediately respond to the allegations, but indicated they would likely have something to say later in the day. Continue…
By Sheryl Ubelacker - Monday, January 14, 2013 at 9:42 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – A growing number of Canadian children with chronic illnesses are being treated…
TORONTO – A growing number of Canadian children with chronic illnesses are being treated with complementary medicine, researchers say, but parents don’t always tell doctors they are using the alternative therapies.
Yet informing health-care providers about vitamins, herbal and homeopathic remedies is important because in some cases they can adversely interact with traditional medications, the researchers say.
In a survey of parents having their children treated at two Canadian pediatric hospitals, researchers found that alternative medicines and such therapies as massage and chiropractic were commonly used. Continue…
By Nirmala George - Friday, January 4, 2013 at 10:09 AM - 0 Comments
NEW DELHI – From Africa’s crowded AIDS clinics to the malarial jungles of Southeast…
NEW DELHI – From Africa’s crowded AIDS clinics to the malarial jungles of Southeast Asia, the lives of millions of ill people in the developing world are hanging in the balance ahead of a legal ruling that will determine whether India’s drug companies can continue to provide cheap versions of many life-saving medicines.
The case — involving Swiss drug maker Novartis AG’s cancer drug Glivec — pits aid groups that argue India plays a vital role as the pharmacy to the poor against drug companies that insist they need strong patents to make drug development profitable. A ruling by India’s Supreme Court is expected in early 2013. Continue…
By Michael Tutton - Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 9:49 AM - 0 Comments
Investigations into abuse allegations at care homes involving people with intellectual disabilities say residents…
Investigations into abuse allegations at care homes involving people with intellectual disabilities say residents have been physically assaulted and neglected, causing experts to call for better training and greater supervision in the homes.
Experts say the reports provided by Ontario and Alberta to The Canadian Press under access to information laws suggest standards of care have fallen short for some of Canada’s most vulnerable people, despite government regulations.
Reports on alleged abuse were released by the two provinces on cases that date back to 2010. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, December 10, 2012 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
Dean Del Mastro attempts to put the F-35 in perspective.
If we were to assume that health care costs were contained to a 3% annual increase for the next 42 years, Canadians will spend roughly 10.88 trillion to provide care over that period of time. If we assume that John Ivison from the National Post is correct on his costing estimate on the F35 then the cost over the same time period would be .o46 trillion. That means that for every dollar spent on aerial defence and security that Canadians will spend $237 on health care, which demonstrates how perspective on these things matter.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, November 26, 2012 at 5:30 PM - 0 Comments
The Scene. Ralph Goodale stood with right hand in pocket, a piece of paper in his left hand, to read the indictment against his former assistant.
“Mr. Speaker, the government’s decision to deny health care services to certain refugee claimants faces very stiff opposition. Doctors, nurses and every significant health care organization in Canada says the decision is wrong. Media editorials say the immigration minister has dropped the ball. Most especially, provincial governments are universally critical, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba. Saskatchewan’s premier describes federal refugee cuts as ‘unCanadian,’ ” the deputy Liberal leader reported to the House.
This much seemed inspired by the case of a man from Pakistan who arrived in Saskatchewan and was subsequently diagnosed with cancer. The man received chemotherapy, but, apparently as a result of the Harper government’s changes to the refugee health care program, the man’s anti-nausea medication was not covered. The Saskatchewan government has said it will cover the costs, but the Premier is unimpressed. This just a month after Conservative MP Kelly Block was criticized for celebrating the new policy.
“Before this gets worse and people die,” Mr. Goodale asked, “will the government correct itself and reinstate sensible health coverage for refugee claimants?”
Jason Kenney was perfectly passive aggressive in response.
“Mr. Speaker, we continue to provide health coverage to refugee claimants,” he assured. “We provide the same package of basic hospital and physician services that are typically available to Canadians. Not every province funds all of the same services precisely the same way. However, if provinces want to provide additional insurance for certain services to asylum claimants, they are more than free to do so.”
The issue seems rather more contentious than Mr. Kenney’s reading here might otherwise suggest.
“I would remind the member that, for example, we have no federal insurance at all for people who are here illegally, for temporary visitors, for newly arrived permanent residents, or for Canadian citizens who are re-establishing themselves,” the Immigration Minister went on. “They get no federal, or for that matter, provincial coverage. However, provinces are always free to provide insurance to people where they think it is appropriate.”
Mr. Goodale was unconvinced, his right hand emerging from his pocket to jab at the air in front of him for emphasis. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 1:53 PM - 0 Comments
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq might have a point when she argues that banning a generic version of OxyContin, as some provincial governments have urged her to do, would amount to unfairly taking aim at a “tempting political target,” while in the process ignoring proper procedure for approval of prescription drugs.
But if Aglukkaq is right that new versions of highly addictive controlled-release oxycodone should be allowed for the sake of patients who would benefit, she leaves open a bigger question: Why has Conservative policy stubbornly insisted on pretending that prescription drug abuse is an issue separate from the abuse of illegal drugs?
By Martin Patriquin - Monday, November 19, 2012 at 8:40 AM - 0 Comments
Quebec goes exploring in medical tourism market
The term “medical tourism” may conjure images of clinics in far-flung countries that offer a tempting proposition: world travel and cut-rate surgery. Yet a Quebec clinic hopes that Canadians will instead think of a warm bed, perhaps an invigorating facial scrub at a renowned Quebec City spa and the chance to skip the clogged lines that are the reality in much of the Canadian public medical system.
“Mix prevention with pleasure” reads the brochure for Fairmont Le Château Frontenac’s medical tourism package, which charges $1,000 for a two-night stay in a suite, including a massage and a complimentary bottle of wine. Medical examination costs are the client’s responsibility. The service, “a first in Canada,” according to the luxury hotel chain, is available to Canadian residents, and promises “VIP treatment” with “wait-free access to your medical professional.” Medical tourists visiting Quebec can avail themselves of six various tests, including mammograms, CT and PET scans, as well as a virtual colonoscopy. These are provided by Radiologie et Imagerie Médicale de la Capitale (RIMC), a Quebec City-based private clinic.
“We cater mostly to a business clientele who don’t have much free time,” says Jacques Lévesque, a radiologist and medical director at RIMC. “We had patients coming here from outside Quebec City, even from outside the province, and we were forever hindered with the fact that they had to leave the same day, so we partnered with Fairmont.” Continue…
By Jaime Weinman - Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 10:26 AM - 0 Comments
Buried in Mitt Romney’s post-election analysis of why he lost – he blames it…
Buried in Mitt Romney’s post-election analysis of why he lost – he blames it on “gifts” to minorities, young people and single women – is an interesting admission about the impact of Obama’s health-care reform on the election.
“Obamacare” didn’t come up a whole lot in the election, because Obama didn’t want to talk a lot about it (polls show it is still unpopular overall) and Romney, while pledging to repeal it, was not in a position to make it a centrepiece of his campaign (having famously passed the same plan in Massachusetts, every explanation of why he wanted to repeal it had to be prefaced by an explanation of why state laws are different from federal ones). But the health-care reform was a big factor in the Democratic mid-term disaster of 2010, and though it became less of an albatross for the party once it squeaked by the Supreme Court, it was still expected to be more of a liability than an asset for Democrats this year.
But according to Romney, Obamacare worked to mobilize voters. He thinks this is a bad thing, a case of the government doling out favours to special interest groups; but liberals and Democrats might feel that Romney is making a stronger case for the effectiveness of Obamacare than Obama ever did:
“Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.”
The president’s health care plan, he said, was also a useful tool in mobilizing black and Hispanic voters. Though Mr. Romney won the white vote with 59 percent, according to exit polls, minorities coalesced around the president in overwhelming numbers: 93 percent of blacks and 71 percent of Hispanics.
“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity — I mean, this is huge,” Mr. Romney said. “Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus.”
A lot of liberals are already making fun of Romney, or expressing horror at this point of view: that when people feel the government is making their lives better, it’s some kind of “gift” or bribe, rather than the government doing its job. That’s part of the worldview that Romney expressed in the 47% remarks, and which underlay a lot of the philosophical differences in the campaign. But what’s really odd is to hear the Republican candidate tell people that Obamacare was an asset for the Democrats, after telling us for years that it was going to be their Waterloo.
How could Obamacare be such a liability for the Democrats in 2010, and then, according to their own opponent, a major asset in 2012? This speaks to the big problem the Democrats still have to deal with: while they’ve built a workable majority of voters in the past two Presidential elections, many of their voters are not likely to show up during mid-term elections, which have much lower turnout, and a much older electorate. The Democrats did extremely well in the 2006 election because older voters were frustrated with the Iraq war and took their frustration out on the Republicans. But in 2010, the Democrats were in charge, and the natural disadvantage of the party in power was compounded by the Medicare cuts that Obama’s health-care reform incorporated. The older electorate of 2010 voted against the Democrats because they saw Obamacare as hurting rather than helping them. But in 2012, more people were voting who had trouble affording medical insurance, and they broke for Obamacare, not against it.
The challenge for the Democrats in 2014, when they will once again be the party in power, will be to find a way to minimize their expected losses by figuring out a way to get their base to show up for mid-term elections in greater numbers. If they can ever do that, Republicans will be in real trouble for a while. (On the other hand, if the Democrats find some way to make young voters feel betrayed – like for example cutting the benefits they can expect to receive if and when they retire – then their voting coalition could evaporate.) Meanwhile, Republicans’ challenge in 2014 will be to find a way to avoid blowing their third consecutive chance to take back the Senate, meaning that we can expect them to apply a lot of pressure to keep people like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock out of future Senate races. Whether any of this works, I don’t know; this is one thing that not even the polls can predict – yet.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, August 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM - 0 Comments
As the only medical doctor in the Conservative Caucus it is incumbent upon you to examine the evidence and not be blinded by ideology. Indeed, as a medical doctor yourself, you have a special responsibility to your fellow human beings to protect health, provide sympathetic care, to prevent disease.
It is time you respected this duty. It is time you listened to the medical profession and the provinces and protect the most vulnerable in our society. It is time that you stand up for refugees and tell your caucus, the cabinet and the Prime Minister to reverse this reprehensible injustice.
Dr. Leitch responds via the CBC.
In a statement to CBC News, Leitch said the changes are “fair and necessary.” … Leitch, who represents the Ontario riding of Simcoe-Grey, referred to the open letter by the Liberals as an example of their “increasing desperation.”
Dr. Leitch was previously challenged to oppose her government’s policy on asbestos exports.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 3:11 PM - 0 Comments
The incoming and outgoing presidents of the Canadian Medical Association question the Harper government’s interest in health care.
Earlier this year outgoing CMA president Dr. John Haggie accused the Harper government of gnawing away at the country’s social safety net, warning that plans to raise the pension eligibility age to 67 would force low-income seniors to choose between buying groceries or buying medicine. Reid says the profession has become “deeply demoralized” through the years because of a “top-down, this-is-what’s-going-to-happen” approach to local health planning and a federal government that seems to be distancing itself from health care. ”I think there’s this sense that the government has withdrawn from some of its responsibility to take true leadership on the health care portfolio,” she said.
Haggie is attending the Global Health Policy Summit in London. “I got, from out of nowhere, an invitation from the United Kingdom prime minister to come and meet him,” Haggie said on Tuesday. “I have not got past the receptionist and staffers at the PMO (Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office). ”Because they don’t want to talk about health care, because they think that by doing it, somehow, I might pin them as being responsible for it. The Constitution and the British North America Act and the Charter, they pin them, not me. You can’t hide and hope it will all go away.”
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 9:45 AM - 0 Comments
Between Jan. 17 and Dec. 31, 2011, 8,819 Mexicans racked up nearly $7 million in health care costs under the Interim Federal Health Program. Some 6,749 Hungarians charged more than $4.4 million, while 4,583 Columbians racked up more than $2.6 million in costs. Meanwhile, 3,790 Americans received more than $1.4 million in free health care. Jamaican claimants round out the top five with 809 health care users receiving more than $808,000 worth of health services …
According to Immigration and Refugee Board figures, last year 83 per cent of Mexican refugee applications were rejected, abandoned or withdrawn. The same could be said for 91 per cent of Hungarian claims, 98 per cent of American claims, 63 per cent of Columbian claims and 62 per cent of Jamaican claims.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 3:31 PM - 0 Comments
Parliament doesn’t reconvene for another six weeks, but the Liberals are serving notice that they’d like the immigration committee to study cuts to health care for refugees.
Lamoureux said his party wants Kenney to produce evidence to support the policy decision and show that it was based on consultations or studies of some kind. ”There was a great deal of suspicion that this was a decision that was made on the whim, that there was no real consultation, there was no real studies. We haven’t seen that and we would like to see the evidence,” he said at a news conference in Ottawa. ”Good government policy is made when you have evidence-based policy decisions and we haven’t seen any evidence and we’re calling for the minister to provide that,” the critic said.
Yesterday, Marc Garneau posted a lengthy denunciation of Conservative immigration policy.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, July 27, 2012 at 10:44 AM - 0 Comments
The premiers seem unimpressed with Jim Flaherty’s change to the health care funding formula.
Canada’s premiers and territorial leaders say they stand to lose almost $36 billion in health transfers over a 10-year period if Ottawa proceeds with its disputed plan to alter how it calculates the payments to the provinces and territories … Selinger said the new scheme reduces Ottawa’s contribution to the health-care costs of provinces and territories to less than 20 per cent…
Flaherty announced last December that health transfer payments would increase at six per cent annually until 2017. After that, the transfers would be tied to the rate of economic growth and inflation — currently estimated to be about four per cent — but the government wouldn’t let the amounts fall below three per cent.
This goes back to the question of what the Conservatives promised during last year’s election and that includes what the Finance Minister spelled out in an interview with the CBC’s Kathleen Petty. Despite all that talk about six percent—with a slight hedge from an unnamed Conservative spokesman to the Canadian Medical Association Journal—Mr. Flaherty tabled his revised funding formula in December.
By macleans.ca - Friday, July 27, 2012 at 8:49 AM - 0 Comments
President Obama may have considered his health care law a big victory for his…
President Obama may have considered his health care law a big victory for his administration, but The New York Times reports that it’s putting strains on some of the country’s most troubled hospitals.
Obama’a Affordable Care Act has cut aid used to pay for emergency care for illegal immigrants. The federal government has spent $20 billion annual to reimburse these hospitals, which are usually in poor urban and rural areas. The law will cut that money in half, based on the prospect that fewer people will need the service after the law is put in place.
Still, there are an estimated 11 million uninsured illegal immigrants living in the US.
Regardless of a person’s immigration status or the hospital’s finances, hospitals are required to offer emergency care.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, July 20, 2012 at 9:57 AM - 0 Comments
Doctors confronted Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq in Hamilton yesterday.
O’Shea asked why the federal government hasn’t met with the Canadian Doctors for Refugee Health Care, a national collective that formed this year in response to cuts to refugee benefits.
Kraeker later stood to tell a story about a local seven-year-old refugee seen in Hamilton’s refugee health clinic, where both Kraeker and O’Shea see patients. The boy had an epileptic seizure because he couldn’t get his medication, which would have cost less than a dollar a day, Kraeker said. He was rushed to the emergency room. “I don’t think it’s a stretch to say someone will die from this,” O’Shea said.
The Spectator has more on the exchange between the doctors and Ms. Aglukkaq here.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM - 0 Comments
Jason Kenney talks to the Edmonton Journal about cuts to health care coverage for refugees.
The government said the scaling back of services offered through the Interim Federal Health Program is aimed at levelling the playing field by limiting refugee claimants to the same health-care benefits package that the average Canadian is able to access for free from each province or territory. ”I think there is a social equity issue there,” Kenney told the Journal’s editorial board on Monday, adding that cutting off access to extended prescription, dental and vision benefits for the targeted refugees will save $19 million per year. The program cost Canadians $84 million last year and Kenney said it was due to become a $100-million expense soon.
Critics argue that each Canadian would only have to shell out 59 additional cents per year to maintain the benefits, but they miss the point. Kenney said the cuts are aimed at people whose asylum claims have been denied on appeal but have yet to leave the country. ”If you’ve lost your asylum claim, don’t expect to stay four or five years getting extended benefits.” However, the cuts will also affect refugees who have been sponsored by religious groups and are in Canada legally. Kenney said it is reasonable to expect the religious groups that are already paying for refugees’ housing and food would also cover the $170 annual cost of extended benefits for the people they bring to Canada.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, July 16, 2012 at 4:15 PM - 0 Comments
I asked Jason Kenney’s office if there was any response to my interview with Dr. Philip Berger. Mr. Kenney’s spokeswoman sent along the following statement.
Canadians have been clear that they do not want illegal immigrants and bogus refugee claimants receiving gold-plated health care benefits that are better than those Canadian taxpayers receive. Our Government has listened and acted. We have taken steps to ensure that protected persons and asylum seekers from non-safe countries receive health care coverage that is on the same level as Canadian taxpayers receive through their provincial health coverage, no better. Bogus claimants from safe countries, and failed asylum seekers, will not receive access to health care coverage unless it is to protect public health and safety. Shamefully, the NDP and Liberals support bogus and rejected asylum seekers receiving gold-plated health care benefits. We disagree. Those who have been through our fair system and rejected should respect Canada’s laws and leave the country.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, July 16, 2012 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
Jason Kenney was shouted at this weekend by a teenager who wanted to inquire about the Harper government’s cuts to health care for refugees. Mr. Kenney tweeted about the incident here and here. Bashir Mohamed now wants to debate the Immigration Minister.
The Edmonton teen who said he was dragged out of a Conservative party event Saturday and then arrested has a challenge for federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. “I want to debate him one-on-one; a 10-minute debate about the issue,” Bashir Mohamed, 17, said Sunday.
Mohamed, who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya and came to Canada in 1997, attended the event at the Alberta Aviation Museum to protest the federal government’s cuts to refugee health care. “I waited until around the end of his speech, the applause died down and I stood up,” he said. “I couldn’t get past the first sentence when a guy came up … and dragged me out.”
Update 1:04pm. Huffington Post has video of the disruption.