Toronto Launch of "We Refuse To Cooperate!" campaign
EVERYONE's INVITED! Under the theme 'We refuse to cooperate’, No One Is Illegal - Toronto and Health for All join with the Health Justice Collective in Montreal and call on health care providers and allies across the country to continue to organize and affirm their intention to not comply with the cuts imposed by the federal government to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), which came into effect as of June 30th.
*With your colleagues & your neighbours, come join the campaign and visit: http://collectifjusticesante-campagne.tumblr.com !*
Come have your photos taken at Christie Pits Park at 2pm on Sunday, July 15, 2012 and get some free ice cream and ice lollies too!
Join us at the southeast corner of Christie Pits Park in the sheltered picnic area next to the children's waterpark.
Please RSVP: http://bit.ly/LbxoP3
We also encourage everyone opposed to the cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program and to the “Refugee Exclusion Act” (also known as Bill C-31, and “officially” known as *Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act*) to post your photo online with a sign expressing your opposition to these measures.
We are determined to reject these inhumane and draconian cuts that threaten the health and dignity of migrant communities who are already marginalized. An unprecedented mobilization took place in the lead-up to the national day of action to oppose the IFHP cuts on June 18, including the involvement of over a dozen cities. This is a call for the ON-GOING mobilization of health care providers and other refugee allies in order to reject these cuts.
*:::: HOW TO PARTICIPATE ::::*
Come in person on July 15th to Christie Pits Park or add your voice directly to this campaign by uploading your photo at: http://collectifjusticesante-campagne.tumblr.com*
Healthcare providers and Allies: We encourage you to take your photos with signs that clearly convey that you will continue to provide services and care to migrants, despite the cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program and the ongoing exclusion of undocumented people from basic services . Please remember to include your name and city, as well as the type of work that you do.
Meanwhile, we understand that for a variety of reasons, some individuals are not in a position to publicly post their photos despite being in opposition to these measures. If you find yourself in this situation, we
encourage you to wear a mask, take a photo of the back of your head, or cover your face with the sign that you’ll be holding up.
*:::::: BACKGROUNDER :::::::*
The cuts to the IFHP are intimately linked to the recent Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, more aptly known as the Refugee Exclusion Act. They essentially deny healthcare services (including hospital services, medical services and medications) to a significant number of refugee claimants, with the exception of persons whose health issues “threaten public security or public health”. Only refugee claimants coming from certain countries will be able to access “urgent and essential” health care services.
Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, has stated that these cuts were introduced because of financial reasons and out of concern for “equity” with the rest of the Canadian population. Not only is this argument absurd, but it is a pretext for the introduction of ideological measures that portray migrants as intruders and threats, while completely disregarding issues of justice and human dignity. True equity would entail adequate health care for all. It is only regressive and dangerous Conservative government policies such as these that constitute a threat to public health and public security, not migrants.
The Interim Federal Health Program, already criticized for its restrictive nature, provided coverage for “essential and urgent services”, including certain essential medications and some preventative care for refugee claimants. Prior to the most recent cuts coming into effect, tens of thousands of migrants across Canada were denied health care based on their immigration status. Following the cuts imposed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, it will be hundreds of thousands more who will be living in even greater precarity.
The Refugee Exclusion Act, along with the IFHP cuts, will create a system that further discriminates against refugee claimants on the basis of their nationality and will dramatically increase the number of people forced to live underground, without access to essential services. These policies mean more families will be separated and more people will be detained and deported. It is fundamental to mobilize against these inhumane and racist cuts.