September 3, 2012

The article “Stopping health care for refugees could block sponsorships” (Bob McKeon, Journey to Justice, Aug. 20) may be accurate, but I would like to present the following scenario.

I am a sponsored immigrant to Canada. My father arrived here with only the clothes on his back, a cardboard suitcase and a loan from his aunt – not very unlike any refugee as he could not support our family.

My uncle bore the full responsibility for our support until my father was employed.

We all realize that there are not unlimited funds in our health care system. In fact, our insurance plans do not cover many of the fees.

If churches, etc., or refugees themselves, are sponsoring relatives whose health expenses they cannot cover, would it not place an untenable strain on us who are also paying the government part of health care for these people?

Churches, etc., voluntarily bring refugees here. This is a very good thing.

Therefore, I believe they should pay for health expenses as sponsors. Is Mr. McKeon suggesting that we allow all refugees seeking Canada as a destination to enter the country with their families, regardless of the numbers and health issues?

The poor of our country do not have access to greatly needed health care. With all due respect and equitable stewardship, we need to address the orphans, widows and sojourners already in our society.

Also, there are many services suggested in the article for refugees which are not paid to our own citizens. This is not fair to us as Canadians.

We need to realistically look at the bottom line before putting charges on Canadian taxpayers that refugees should get substantial health benefits paid by government alone.

Joe Cristini