Why Does Mobilization Matter?
While no major changes have been formally announced, we have noted some interesting developments in the course of events since April 25. In Ontario, Deb Matthews, the Minister of Health has come out publicly against these cuts. In Quebec, the province has stated they will pay for the healthcare services of refugees until another solution is found. The Citizenship and Immigration Canada website mysteriously changed one day so government-assisted refugees were no longer among the affected groups. This change was of course denied by the Minister as a change. Would all these things have happened if politicians were not being held accountable by the mobilization we have seen? Unlikely!
So maybe change is possible? However, even if we see no changes, we should not be disheartened. If nothing else, we are all exercising our democratic rights to free speech and realizing how difficult it is to change an ideological stance. Through these actions, we have developed networks of providers, organizations, community groups and community members who are engaged and enraged. These are the seeds of revolutionary change and will allow us to continue to work together to address the cuts to refugee health, the attack on migrants and broader issues of social justice.
Ritika Goel is a family physician and public health professional in Toronto. Check out her blog at righttohealth.ca and follow her on Twitter: @RitikaGoelTO
Photo credit: Sardar Saadi
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