Member of Parliament for Edmonton--Sherwood Park
Meet Tim Uppal
Working for You!
Ask a Question
Economic Action Plan 2012
Canada's Parliamentary System
2013 Tax Guide
Sign up for email newsletter
Ask a Question
Send a friend this link
Bringing Fairness to Canadian Taxpayers by Reforming the Interim Federal Health Program for Asylum Seekers in Canada
Wednesday, 01 August 2012
Canadians are a very generous people and Canada has a generous immigration system. Unfortunately, it has been the case that there was a terrible inequality. We were giving better health benefits to asylum seekers, including bogus asylum seekers and illegal migrants who arrived in smuggling operations, than we were giving to hard-working, taxpaying Canadian Citizens.
Many local residents of our community have raised concerns with me in the past about the inequality of such services.
I am proud to say our Conservative Government has made reforms to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), so that asylum claimants will not receive more generous health benefits than those available to taxpaying Canadian citizens.
When our Government was elected in 2006, we inherited an immigration system that was broken and did not meet Canada’s economic needs. Economic Action Plan 2012 outlines our objective to bring about transformational changes to our immigration system, making it fast and efficient with a focus on Canada’s labour market and economic needs.
The current IFHP provides basic health-care coverage, similar to what is provided through a provincial or territorial health insurance plan, as well as coverage for supplemental health-care services, including pharmaceutical care, dentistry, vision care and mobility assistive devices. I believe it is unfair to ask Canadians to fund enhanced benefits for protected persons and refugee claimants that they are not necessarily entitled to themselves.
Our Government’s reformed program will end the coverage of supplemental health–care benefits to asylum seekers in Canada. The changes ensure that bogus asylum seekers, including those whose claims have been rejected but who refuse to leave Canada, will no longer receive, at taxpayer expense, enhanced health services such as eye and dental coverage. Of course, as soon as a refugee claimant is found to be a genuine refugee, he or she has access to the full benefits of the provincial health care system and is no longer an IFHP beneficiary.
These are reasonable, measured changes to stop the abuse of Canada’s generous and overburdened health care system by bogus asylum claimants, and especially by those that have already been rejected by our fair and independent refugee determination system but who refuse to return home, preferring to enjoy generous welfare and enhanced health care benefits from honest, hard-working Canadians.
With this reform, we are also taking away an incentive from people who may be considering filing an unfounded refugee claim in Canada, as well as creating cost savings which are projected to be about $100 million over the next five years.
We have made many changes to better align the immigration system with the needs of the economy, but there is still more to do. Our Government is building an immigration system that serves our national and local interest by growing our economy, creating new businesses and jobs, and attracting the best and brightest from around the world to Canada.
Honourable Tim Uppal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of State for Democratic Reform
Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Sherwood Park
Website Design by Somnia
Tim Uppal - Member of Parliament for Edmonton--Sherwood Park