jason kenney calls refugees "illegal immigrants", scolds us for caring about them

My disgust at Jason Kenney reached new heights today, and that is really saying something. It's not enough to destroy the Federal Interim Health Program, leaving thousands of vulnerable people without health insurance in a country that claims to have universal health care. When Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews wrote a letter to Kenney and Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq protesting the budget cut, Kenney responded by admonishing the provinces for even caring about it. (How dare anyone care about someone who is not a Canadian citizen?!) Kenney really showed his star-spangled cards when he referred to refugee claimants as illegal immigrants.

Really, Jason? Illegal immigrants? People fleeing death, destruction, torture, starvation? People leaving their homes with only the clothes on their back, struggling through desperation that most of us can only begin to imagine? These are illegal immigrants?

It was bad enough repeatedly referring to certain people as "bogus refugees," as if anyone who applies for refugee status but whose case is rejected by the highly politicized IRB is a joke, a phony, a scam artist. Now these poor souls are "illegal immigrants". I cannot recall ever hearing this language used in Canada. Next we'll be hearing they're coming to steal our jobs and rape our women.
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says provinces upset about cuts to refugee health services should be more concerned about their own citizens than rejected claimants who are taking advantage of the system.

Kenney is fending off protests from the medical community and now some provinces over the Conservatives' decision to cut benefits under the interim federal health program.

. . .

"I think that perhaps the provinces, some of the provinces who are raising this, have put their priority in the wrong place. They should be more focused on their own citizens and residents than people who are, in many cases we're talking here about illegal immigrants — that is to say, rejected asylum claimants who are under removal orders from Canada," he said at a news conference held to highlight the government's immigration reform agenda.

"The real question is why were we providing them with tax-funded health insurance in the past? That's what Canadians have been asking us and that's why we've acted in this way," he said.
Who's been asking you that, Jason? How many Canadians were clamouring for refugee claimaints to be stripped of health insurance? How many Canadians would have even thought about this, would have missed their $0.59, if it weren't for your relentless activism against refugees?

In my next post, Canadians respond.

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