Sun columnist's "rank demagoguery" on refugee health

Sun Media columnist Christina Blizzard hit a nerve this week when she attacked the provincial Liberal government for announcing plans to extend basic health care coverage to refugee claimants, beginning in the new year.

Ontario made the move in response to the Conservative government's decision last year to cut off a big chunk of refugees claimants from accessing health care under a federal program.

Blizzard attacked the Ontario refugee health care announcement by using a heartbreaking story about an Ontario girl with a rare form of Cystic Fibrosis. Madi, 12, requires a life-saving drug that costs $348,000 a year, but it's not covered by OHIP, Ontario's public insurance system. 

Blizzard's solution to this OHIP coverage problem is to cut off refugees. "Let refugee claimants hold bake sales for their health care, as Madi's family has done." Oh, and "if doctors care that much, they can treat refugees for free."

Other columnists jumped in.

"Speaking of demagoguery, Sun Media’s Christina Blizzard is furious that the Ontario government dares implore the feds to reverse cuts in refugee health care benefits when it won’t cough up $348,000 a year for life-saving cystic fibrosis drugs for a 12-year-old girl 'whose family has paid taxes for generations.' Curiously, Blizzard never gets around to saying — refugees aside — whether she thinks OHIP should fund the treatment," Chris Selley wrote in the National Post.

He and another columnist also took to Twitter when Blizzard's colleague in Ottawa circulated her column:

Photo: onemorego. Used under a Creative Commons BY-ND 2.0 licence. 

Related Posts

A project of the Broadbent Institute