By The Canadian Press - Monday, February 25, 2013 - 0 Comments
TORONTO – A group of doctors and lawyers is taking the federal government to…
TORONTO – A group of doctors and lawyers is taking the federal government to court over cuts to health care for refugee claimants.
They’re asking the Federal Court for a judicial review of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s decision and say the court should declare the cuts unconstitutional.
Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers say the cuts deny basic, emergency and life-saving medical care to thousands of refugee claimants lawfully seeking protection here.
Up until June 30, 2012, the federal government covered the costs of drugs and medical care for refugee claimants until they had been in Canada long enough for provincial coverage to kick in.
But the government put an end to almost all supplemental health-care benefits, slashing coverage in most cases to care only when it was a public health emergency.
Three people affected by the cuts are also part of the court challenge, including Hanif Ayubi — a man from Afghanistan whose refugee claim was rejected.
Ayubi, who can not be sent home because there is a moratorium on removals to that country, now can’t get insulin for his Type 1 diabetes.
By Charlie Gillis - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM - 0 Comments
Gangs target financially successful families in the country’s ongoing drug war
In Mexico, Daniel Balcorta had it good. Three cars, a house with a pool, lavish meals at Cancun’s top restaurants—such were the perks of a successful realtor selling beachfront on the Yucatan coastline. A former professional soccer player, Balcorta had paired minor celebrity with a strong grasp of Internet commerce, and developed a thriving business catering to well-heeled snowbirds from the U.S. and Canada. “I even had a private jet I’d rent to fly around my clients viewing properties,” says the 34-year-old ruefully. “We lived a very comfortable life.”
One call to his cellphone would change that. It was Aug. 14, 2009, and the man with the raspy voice on the other end introduced himself as a representative of “the Company”—gangster-speak for Los Zetas, a notorious criminal cartel known throughout Mexico for drug trafficking and extortion. The time had come for Balcorta to pay, the man said, and the price was 500,000 pesos (about $50,000). “You must have the wrong person,” Balcorta responded, and he promptly hung up.
But the man called back, and thus began a month-long nightmare during which the gangsters called Balcorta and his wife, Maria, no less than 10 times demanding they pay up or else. When the Balcortas stopped answering, the gangsters left voice mails threatening their lives and those of their children, aged 5 and 2. On Aug. 17, Maria took a call at the house in which a man told her the Zetas would kill Balcorta “or a member of your family” unless she persuaded her husband to co-operate. They complained to police—twice—but the calls kept coming. Continue…
By John Geddes - Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at 5:58 PM - 16 Comments
Too often, when immigration issues are on the table, new Canadians are discussed as if they form a monolithic group, all uniformly anxious for the system to be as porous as possible when it comes to letting into Canada any who wish to follow them.
Back in the 2008 election campaign, I was reminded that this is far from the case on the occasion of Stéphane Dion announcing the Liberal immigration platform at the Shiang Garden restaurant in Richmond, B.C. The mostly Chinese-Canadian crowd offered only tepid applause that day for Dion’s big-ticket promise of $400 million to unclog the refugee system. But they enthusiastically cheered his pledge—delivered almost as an afterthought—to streamline customs processing for frequent business visitors to Canada.
Dion and his campaign aides far overestimated the crowd’s interest in the plight of refugees, while undervaluing keen interest in the practicalities of business travel, at least among the slice of the ethnic vote represented at that luncheon.