(OTTAWA) – As the Harper Conservatives’ work to leave refugee claimants’ access to social services up to provincial discretion in Bill C-43, the Green Party of Canada took action to stand up for them.
Changes made to the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act in the latest Conservative omnibus bill would open the door for provinces to impose minimum residency requirements in order to access basic social assistance. This would affect the most vulnerable people in Canada, including refugee claimants, as well as applicants for Pre-Removal Risk Assessment and Permanent Residency, and temporary resident permit holders that are not victims of human trafficking. These changes have been met with widespread public outcry.
In order to close the door on this injustice, Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands and Leader of the Green Party of Canada, submitted an amendment. Since it seems that refugee claimants are the target of these changes, this amendment seeks to have refugee claimants added to the list of people in the act who cannot have minimum residency requirements imposed upon them.
“These cynical changes insult our proudest values as Canadians, a people that is proud to treat the vulnerable with dignity, respect, and humanity,” Said Ms. May. “That the Conservatives would bury these changes in two clauses of an almost 500 page omnibus bill shows that they hoped no one would notice. I sincerely hope no province will take this dark new opportunity to deny vital services to the most vulnerable in our midst.”
The Green Party urges the Government of Canada to stop their assault on the rights of Canada’s most vulnerable people.
For additional information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
cell: (613) 614 4916
office: (613) 562 4916 (224)