In response to drastic cuts to the Interim Federal Health (IFH) program in Canada, 2012 was marked by historic mobilizations where health care workers and allies took to the streets, occupied Conservative MP offices, rallied outside Citizenship and Immigration Offices, launched a Non-Cooperation Campaign in response to drastic cuts to refugee health care coverage in Canada. These cuts mean a man in Saskatchewan was denied chemotherapy for his cancer treatment, pregnant women have been denied coverage for their deliveries, countless refugees and claimants have been cut off from access to medications and now, those seeking refuge from countries Jason Kenney has designated as ‘safe' will not be able to get care even for a heart attack. These cuts are in line with ongoing regressive immigration policies introduced by this government including Bill C-31.
In the wake of these cuts, Quebec has stepped up to fill the gap by providing health care coverage for refugees. Manitoba has said they will do the same and send the Feds the bill. Saskatchewan has called for a review of the cuts and provided chemotherapy for a dying man. Yet, we have seen no action from Ontario and it's time we escalate our demands. As a New Year's resolution, we are asking you to JOIN US in calling on the province to step up, FILL THE IFH GAP, and provide healthcare coverage for all those seeking refuge in Ontario. Help us make this an issue in the Ontario Liberal Leadership race by participating in our three upcoming Wednesdays of Action leading up to the Leadership Convention!
1. The next three Wednesdays in January (Jan 9th, 16th, 23rd) leading to the convention, we need your help to: Flood the communication lines asking Ontario Liberal Leadership candidates to make public statements agreeing to fill the IFH gap if they are chosen. Scroll down for contact information for all candidates.
A. Phone the candidates.
B. Email the candidates individually or click here for an easy online form that will email all candidates for you.
C. Tweet the candidates. Use the hashtag #FillTheIFHGap as well as using the #olpldr and #onpoli hashtags. Scroll down for automatic tweet links.
D. Have your organization write a letter to the candidates.
2. On Wednesday, January 23rd, JOIN US in a public rally to deliver a petition with over 627 signatures of health professionals, social service providers and community members to the Ministry of Health.
When: Wednesday, January 23rd, 11:30am
Where: Ministry of Health and Long Term Care office (900 Bay Street), Toronto.
Why: Because it's time for the Ontario government to step up and fill the IFH gap.
Who: We are mobilizing the 627 signatories and calling on everyone else to join us!
See the petition here: http://health4all.ca/PetitionToMinisterMatthews
3. On the weekend of the actual convention, January 26th and 27th, we want you to help us TAKE OVER the #olpldr and #onpoli hashtags demanding that the candidates promise to #FillTheIFHGap.
Contact Information for Ontario Liberal Leadership Candidates:
Don't know what to tweet? How about:
@DrEricHoskins As a doctor who has worked with refugees, do you agree to #FillTheIFHGap if you become #olpldr? #onpoli #refugeehealth Click to tweet this.
@GKennedyOLP Quebec & Manitoba have stepped up to #FillTheIFHGap from #refugeehealth cuts. Will you do the same in Ontario? #onpoli #olpldr Click to tweet this.
@Glen4ONT Ontario has a responsibility to the migrants who live here. Will you #FillTheIFHGap left by #refugeehealth cuts? #onpoli #olpldr Click to tweet this.
@SandraPupatello 627 frontline workers and community members want you to #FillTheIFHGap. Will you commit to this? #olpldr #onpoli Click to tweet this.
@SousaCharles As a frontline worker, I want you to commit to #FillTheIFHGap. Ontario must provide #refugeehealth. #olpldr #onpoli Click to tweet this.
@HarinderTakhar Will you let refugees die in Ontario? Commit to #FillTheIFHGap and provide healthcare for refugees. #olpldr #onpoli Click to tweet this.
@Kathleen_Wynne Frontline workers will deliver a petition to @Deb_Matthews to #FillTheIFHGap for #refugees. Will you support? #olpldr onpoli Click to tweet this.
Health for All