Health 4 All Demonstration At Ontario Health Ministry*
By Dwight Gordon — Member of the Jane and Finch Action Against Poverty (JFAAP), Toronto.
On January 23, 2013 Health 4 All as well as some community activists and medical students spent over an hour braving the harsh weather elements to try to convince health minister Deb Matthews to commit to more accessible health care for refugees. The argument was that provinces such as Manitoba and Quebec have made health care more accessible to refugees, so why shouldn’t Ontario. Physically the demonstrators were ice cold but it was as if our hearts were warm and the determination to express the message was red hot. Word was that Deb Matthews made no commitments to demands but apparently would watch to see what Quebec and Manitoba are doing. At the protest there was talk of the federal government’s tough anti-immigration efforts and that the anti-immigration stance among some Conservative MPs was strengthening. There were also tales of refugees who badly needed health care but had a hard, if not impossible time getting it. I guess it remains to be seen how influential were the protestors who stood out in the cold for well over an hour. There was also talk of the Idle No More movement being an influence on the demonstrators.
Will the contagious momentum keep up? Hmmm. One thing I’ll say is, I’ve heard all sorts of talk like that this group of immigrants want to take over and cater to their own kind. Or that group of other immigrants are taking over this country by committing crime. Another group is supposedly just draining the countries resources and services. Are no government officials or politicians thinking like this ? These ignorant attitudes need to stop because I don’t want any race or ethnic riots here like what some are actually predicting.
Thank you, from Dwight Gordon ( * These views are the opinion of the author).
Dwight Gordon — I am a Canadian of Jamaican descent from Toronto, living in Scarborough particularly. I’m very active in the black and Jamaican communities, and I also participate in causes dealing with racialized communities, poverty, health and disabilities. As I became a teenager, I got some very eye-opening lessons of the problems in society and the world we live in. And the eye-opening lessons never did stop. Me being black of Jamaican heritage definitely indirectly contributed to those lessons. Hence, my activism. Thank you
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Find out more about Health4All at : www.health4all.ca + Watch a video of this demonstration here