'Bogus refugee claimants receiving gold-plated health care benefits' - Macleans.ca

‘Bogus refugee claimants receiving gold-plated health care benefits’


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.

Previous coverage of this issue and the protests around it here, here, here, here, herehere, herehere, here, here and here.


‘Bogus refugee claimants receiving gold-plated health care benefits’

  1. Kenney doesn’t know when to stop being stupid.

    And his ‘spokeswoman’ should know when to delete the boilerplate.

    • Excellent insight, troll. Maybe you can enlighten us when the proper time is to ‘stop being stupid’? Oh right, you’ve never enlightened anything. Troll.

      • You don’t know when to stop being stupid either.

        It’s why you’ll always get a Ciao from me.

        • No, you try to blow me off because you don’t have anything of substance to say, nor a brain capable of debate. Ciao, troll.

          • Flick.

          • Seriously, just try saying something that actually has value… just once.

          • “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

            Try it for a change.

          • So, what does that say about you when your original comment was a “discussion” about Kenney, and his spokeswoman? Small minded troll.

          • S’over Rick….dismissed.

          • You’re over.

  2. wish there was some way to be rid of this RIDICULOUS mis information campaign that our federal parties have started. Messaging is one thing but I’m increasingly feeling like were crossing a threshold into propaganda.

    • That threshold is distant in the rearview mirror, my friend.

  3. Why should there be any refugee claimants? We’ve done our part over the years taking in thousands of “refugees” and unnecessary immigrants and now we’re plagued with gang violence problems, terrorism problems, crowded cities and all the other hallmarks of 3rd world life. We, the Canadian people, have a right to demand a moratorium on all new immigration and all new refugee admissions, for the sake of our own preservation.

    • Yeah, all those refugees like Paul Bernardo, Clifford Olsen, Robert Pickton eh?

    • If you want the economy to grow and grow and grow, then you need the workers to make it happen.

  4. How big is Jason Kenney’s gold-plated pension going to be. for him to describe a minimum of health care for refugees as “gold-plated” is just revolting. What a complete and utter jackass he is.

    • Gold-plated or not, those refugee claimants (legitimate or not) STILL have better health care coverage than I as a natural-born Canadian do!

      • Don’t lie….your God doesn’t like it.

        • As a Caadian, he gets his healthcare provided through the provinces and they do not cover vision, dental or prescription medications at least not in the province I live in. Once the refugees qualify for provincial healthcare they will be in the same position.

          • Don’t lie….your God doesn’t like it.

          • What God is that? I was raised a Catholic but I don’t practice any religion.
            Perhaps you could enlighten us all and tell us which of the provinces provide vision, dental and prescription medication coverage to Canadian citizens?

          • No God likes lying….choose any one you want

            No one in Canada goes without needed medication or medical, dental and eye help no matter how it’s provided…well, maybe in Alberta…they don’t even like horses there.

          • You make these blatant statements “no one in Canada goes without medical, dental or eye help no matter how it is provided…”
            You never substantiate anything you claim and you call me a liar but you cannot provide the name of ONE province in Canada that provides its citizens with dental, vision or prescription medicine coverage. You seem SURE that NO Canadians are going without but do not explain how poor working Canadians are paying for the dentist. You are so certain that poor working Canadians are managing but you are disgusted because you are sure that refugees will go without because they will be relying on the same lousy level of healthcare.
            God has nothing to do with this. I am no big fan of God and your bringing up religion as a way to try to make anyone who disagrees with your ill informed opinions seem like a ridiculous zealot is getting really old. You are misinformed and uninterestered in learning the truth of what is the reality of what is happening in the country you live in. I am all for providing vision, dental and prescription medication coverage to all who are in need BUT do not pretend that poor Canadians who aren’t on welfare are somehow MAGICALLY getting their needs met. That is not true and once these refugees join that goup of Canadians in low level jobs depending on provincial governments to provide their healthcare, they will be receiving the same inadequate coverage as the rest of the country….unless of course you are expecting all of these refugees to live out their lives in Canada on welfare.

          • Listen hon….before you get in over your head again….like you always do…..just stop. Plain stop. No more nonsense. I’m tired of it.

            You have been given countless urls as proof, but you don’t read them….. when you ‘think outside the box’ you just create another box….because you are the biggest conformist in the country. I’m tired of it.

            No Canadian goes without….period. Just horses in Alberta. I’m tired of it.

            You promised never to speak to me again.

            Stick to that promise.

          • “|No Canadian goes without….period” My goodness…Jack Layton would be spinning if he read that! You are truly too stupid to realize the overwhelming winning endorsement you just gave to Harper and the Conservatives for their work on Healthcare.
            I promise not to respond to you again UNLESS you continue to write lies….oh and can’t wait for you to provide the names of those provinces that provide vision, dental and prescription care….can’t do it because as usual you are completely deluded.
            Wait, maybe it isn’t you fault…now that you are getting extra benefits as an old-age pensioner maybe you think everyone is.

          • You promised….stick to it….no idiotic ‘conditions’ that you make up

            Sorry….I’ve had enough of your silliiness. Ciao

          • You are a troll !

          • You have no idea what a troll is, so you can stop being silly as well.

          • I think you need to stop lying. No one in Canada goes without needed medication? Are you serious? You need to get out of the house once in a while if you want to have any idea what Canada’s really like.

            You’re shocking lies and ignorance are a testament to your ideology.

          • I don’t talk to govt trolls Rick, not even when they’re hysterical as in your case…..sorry

          • Lying troll…. you’ll troll anybody until they prove your wrong (always)… only then you resort to calling people trolls… because your projecting. Good luck with that, troll.

          • LIke I said….you are always in hysterics and talking govt nonsense.


          • Ya Troll, clearly I’m hysterical. I’m actually laughing hysterically at your complete inability to backup any of your bald faced lies.

            Point out one provincial government that gives its citizens prescription and dental coverage, and I’ll leave you alone. But you can’t, because as usual you’re lying.

            So go ahead, troll on… but be aware that everybody will know you’re a liar AND a troll.

      • Even if it can be spun that refugee
        claimants have better healthcare than average Canadians, you cannot compare refugees to Canadian
        citizens who have access to other resources.
        As a Canadian citizen, natural
        born or otherwise, you are legally entitled to work in Canada thereby earning the
        money required for prescriptions etc. If you cannot work you are entitle to EI
        or welfare to get the money for a minimum standard of care. Refugees neither have the right to work, nor have access to programs until
        they are sent home or permitted to stay in Canada. In the mean time lets give them basic heathcare.

        • I don’t think you have a clue what you are talking about. What about working poor who have children and are just scraping by? They cannot afford dental care, glasses care or in many cases prescription medications. Physicians in the country provide those people with samples and then there are compassion programs from the pharmaceutical programs. There are also programs offered by optomitrists for people who cannot afford glasses.

        • The question is, if prescription, dental and vision coverage is ‘basic’ why don’t I get that coverage?

        • Dont know if you know the refugee process.they are given temporary SIN numbers which allow them to work.If they don’t wish to work too bad,

      • How, exactly?

        • People seem to think that every Canadian has vision, dental and prescription medication coverage. This is completely untrue. The provincial governments do not provide vision, dental or prescription medication coverage SO most employers do. However, low-end jobs very rarely come with these benefits. You would be hard pressed to find a cab driver, waitress, janitor or many who work in small businesses with these benefits. Also, few who are self-employed have them either. That leaves them to buy their own coverage. Some people just can’t afford it. It is not uncommon that a single mother in a crappy job doesn’t have coverage. Her kids don’t go to the dentist and they don’t wear glasses. If they need prescriptions, the doctors tend to provide samples. Now we are not talking about the poorest people in the country because those on welfare are given full vision, dental and prescription medication coverage as aer our First Nations people.

          • You’re trying to talk reason and logic to these people, that’s your mistake.

            Unless your trying to make the point that:
            A) Stephen Harper is Satan
            B) Anyone west of Sudbury isn’t a real Canadian
            C) Economics is a Myth

            Don’t bother feeding the trolls. They don’t like facts, and reality.

          • This may be true, however, there is no excuse for ignorance on the part of the media. Aaron Wherry might be partisan but it is still his responsibility to get the straight facts. He should have asked Dr. Berger the right questions. He should have at least asked about poor working Canadians and their “basic” healthcare coverage. He has to know that their are countless children in this country whose parents can’t afford to send them to the dentist or buy them glasses and yet, no physicians are out there marching on their behalf. The really pathetic thing is that once these refugees become covered by provincial healthcare, they will be in the same sorry state unles they land jobs with really good employers who offer them benefits. Instead of saying “oh, Canadians on social assistance have vision, dental and prescription coverage”, why didn’t Dr. Berger just say, “Yes, you are right Jason Kennedy, it is disgusting in a rich country like Canada that the children of people who are working for minimum wage cannot afford to see a dentist because we don’t ensure they have healthcare coverage that provides them with dental, vision and the prescription medications they need and now you are going to do the same thing to our newest, most vulnerable young citizens. Instead of working to correct a wrong in this country with some compassion, you are compounding it with another wrong.” He could have then called on his fellow physicians to lobby their provincial governments to change healthcare in their provinces but instead he pretended the situation doesn’t exist. He is very short-sighted because all of this immigrants whose claims are legitimate will end up will no value-added healthcare coverage once they get covered for healthcare under the provinces. Dr. Berger reminds me of hospital-based physician who never gives a thought to what happens to a patient once they are discharged from their care. They have no idea and obviously no real concern about life after they discharge them.

          • I think you better check your facts here. As a former medical claims adjudicator those on welfare, disability do not get full vision and dental coverage. In fact, those people still have to pay more then forty percent of the cost for eyeglasses. And the full cost for non covered prescription drugs even though to function properly they may that drug. They are not supplied with the funds. And we dont pay for the balance of vision until the first amount is paid in full. Sorry to burst your bubble. I t

  5. This kind of response needs a new word to describe it. It isn’t strictly ‘bafflegab’, nor simply ‘officious bluster’. Needs something along the line of ‘bloviate’. Indignant bloviation. No, not ‘indignant’. Not enough irony. hmmmm…. ‘officious bloviation’. Still, that’s a phrase, not a word…

    Blovicious? Blovi-icious. Blofficious?

    • Blatant Bullshit?

      • You’ve got the sense of it, but your language is too straightforward. :-)

        • LOL story of my life

      • There is a Wikipedia entry for bloviate. I’m afraid it doesn’t quite cover the self-blinded partisan assumption of righteousness.

      • I like that one.

  6. Kenney needs to be called the liar he is.

    This is an organized and very deliberate campaign against some refugees. The only way it makes sense to me is as wedge politics targeting new Canadians. It looks like they need to lay the groundwork: some immigrants are “us”, the others are “them.” “We” are honest and hardworking, “they” are criminals and freeloaders.

    Give Kenney a little time, and he’ll harmonize new Canadians with the rest of Conservative communications. And a lot more Canadians will learn to hate a lot of other Canadians, and become convinced that all the other parties are the work of the devil.

    It might be politically effective, but it’s a terrible thing to do to a country.

    • Dr. Berger has not been completely honest either. You tell me what waitress in Canada has dental, vision and prescription benefits. Kenney is right. Provinces DO NOT provide these benefits. Some but not all work places provide these benefits and the people who work in low-end jobs don’t have these benefits. Their children do not go to the dentist. They do not go to the dentist. Physicians provide them with sample medications. Unless they are almost blind, they buy themselves glasses. I know this. I work in mental health and many people end up on short-term disability or in very poor paying jobs. We do all kinds of tap-dancing to try and get their prescriptions covered through compassion programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. It is a whole different matter if a person is on social assistance (welfare) but poor working Canadians and their children get nothing. It is too bad physicians aren’t equally as outraged about that. They should be marching on provincial government offices.

      • Dr. Berger was a little loose in the quote above, but if you click through and read the whole article he’s quite clear: “So the 870,000 Ontario citizens on social assistance get no less than a refugee did under the old IFH system.”

        I agree there’s a huge hole in coverage for the working poor, but provinces absolutely do provide these benefits to people on social assistance. And considering these people are refugees, with minimal resources and typically poor health and traumatic histories, it seems like basic compassion to provide this coverage.

        • Yes they do provide this care for people on welfare. No one is suggesting they don’t. But people on EI and EI temporary sick disability get NOTHING. How are refugees so much worse off than many on EI considering that some collecting EI were laid of of minimum wage jobs. Do you honestly believe they can afford to go to the dentist, buy glasses or get prescriptions? The government will continue to pay for prescriptions when refugees have communicable diseases. They can still go to their physicians and get samples of prescription meds. They will be in the EXACT same situation as poor Canadians who arent’ on social assistance and for goodness sakes what makes you all believe that social assistance is so easy to get in this country?
          Meanwhile, remember the refugees will become these working poor Canadians once they qualify for provincial healthcare benefits and their claims are processed. They too will receive their healthcare through the provinces and get NO value added healthcare benefits. Surely, you don’t thing all refugees will be invited to go on social assistance.

    • “They” are not refugee’s, they’re A) Fake refugee’s, or B) Illegal immigrants. If not letting them game our system is “wedge politics” to you, then you have a very strange view of what the government is and isn’t supposed to be prioritizing.

  7. Here’s an explanation of what was and wasn’t covered under the old IFH program: http://wiki.straightjacketstudio.com/images/7/7e/IFHProvidersHandbook.pdf

    Some highlights:

    “Emergency and essential health services only for medical conditions: doctor visits,
    emergency and essential treatments for serious illness or injury, standard
    immunizations.” (p. 12 [8])

    Emergency services are defined as procedures to alleviate pain and active infection,
    hemorrhage and the result of oral trauma.
    Essential services are procedures for serious dental problems that remain once the
    emergency services have been provided. These services, defined below, must be
    submitted to FAS for predetermination.” (p. 15 [11])

    • Yes, they receive the dental coverage that no Canadian citizen gets for free from a province UNLESS they are a patient in a hospital OR perhaps if they are a victim in a car accident and receive a traumatic injury requiring dental care. People should really read through the entire documentation rather than Michael’s selections. What people really need to remember is that federal refugee coverage is just a stop-gap coverage UNTIL the refugees qualify for provincial healthcare. What kind of dental, vision and prescription medication coverage do you think the provinces provide once that happens. Take an educated guess.

      • “Yes, they receive the dental coverage that no Canadian citizen gets for
        free from a province UNLESS they are a patient in a hospital OR perhaps
        if they are a victim in a car accident and receive a traumatic injury
        requiring dental care.”

        Or if they’re on social assistance. Which is the situation for refugees who, as someone noted above, are not permitted to work in Canada.

        • That is true. People on welfare get government coverage. First Nations people get government coverage and in some provinces, those on old-age pension get government coverage. No other people get government coverage…even if they are children whose parents work at minimum wage jobs. Now it is true that some refugees go on to end up on social assistance so they too will get coverage but many will end up in low paying jobs and then they will be without coverage.

      • “Insider”: Alberta Health Services lists IFH as one of the _many_ programs covering dental care for low income recipients. It’s also the program with the least amount of coverage. Have you compared your province’s coverage options?

        See page 2 of http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/ps-1042857-dental-treat.pdf

      • Compare:

        Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP): Emergency dental services only (pain, infection, bleeding or trauma).


        Children under the age of 18 (19 if attending high school) in low-income families: Free basic health benefits and routine dental services.

        Infants and children of First Nations Communities in Alberta: Free services including fluoride varnish, sealants, fillings and teaching about tooth brushing and flossing.

        AISH clients and their dependants: Routine dental services and dentures.

        People with no access to dental services can apply based on income: Limited, free dental services for teeth removal and some fillings.

  8. People need to look up information for themselves and not rely on bits and pieces of information that supports either point of view. Get the facts. I was sent an e-mail by an MP that stated blatant inaccuracies about this issue. How do I know that? I l compared what they wrote to what the Government websites said. I know 100% that I don’t get government paid dental or vision care, psychologist visits or prescriptions free.