Community Organizations Deliver Open Letter to Joe Oliver to Oppose Provisions in Budget Bill
Toronto, November 18th, 2014 – Health for All joins 160 organizations in signing an open letter to Joe Oliver in opposition to provisions in Budget Bill C-43 that would allow provinces to restrict access to social assistance for refugee claimants and others who lack permanent residency status.
Signatories to the open letter include health professional organizations, community health centres, community legal clinics, refugee shelters, student groups, activist organizations and more.
“Refugee claimants are among the most vulnerable members of our society,” said Ritika Goel, a member of Health for All. “To deny them access to what is often their only source of income would be cruel and in direct violation of Canada’s stated commitments to international human rights law.”
The proposal to restrict access to social assistance was originally announced two months ago as Private Member’s Bill C-585, and was later rolled into the Budget Bill C-43 which goes to committee hearings this week. Several of the organizations in opposition will be deputing on the issue.
“This piece of legislation poses an immediate threat to the health and social security of refugee claimants,” said Marcella Jones, another member of Health for All. “The community at large has spoken – we oppose such cruel and unusual policies.”
On Tuesday morning at 11am, Health for All along with representatives from other signatory organizations will deliver the open letter to Minister of Finance Joe Oliver’s office in Toronto.
Media Contact: Ritika Goel
Media Contact: Marcella Jones
Download PDF: Open Letter to Finance Minister Oliver on Bill C-43 – Nov 18 2014