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Feds should review decision to cut refugee claimants’ access to health care, says health coalition

By Debra Lynkowski      

The consequences of limiting access to medical care for most classes of refugees are being seen and felt in emergency rooms and community health centres across the country.

In April 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced sweeping changes to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), a program that, since 1957, has provided refugees to Canada with insurance coverage for medical services. Subsequent to the minister’s announcement, a number of national organizations and professional associations representing Canada’s health care providers and public health community asked the minister to repeal this decision, as it would severely limit access to health care for refugees. In the summer, modifications were quietly made and health care benefits for government-sponsored refugees were restored.

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All eyes on Red Chamber, as Senators push back on key government bills

Senators have proposed dozens of changes to the Liberals' impact assessment and gun bills, have concerns about its solitary confinement legislation, and recommended its tanker-ban bill not proceed.

House may need to sit in summer to pass new NAFTA deal, says Trade Committee chair

News|By Neil Moss
‘I've never seen that before, but it's doable,’ says Liberal MP Mark Eyking. But MPs still say the Americans should make the first move toward ratification.

Senate on a spending ‘slippery slope,’ says Sen. Marshall, as Senators review office-expense rules

Senators rejected staff-suggested changes to the rules governing how they spend money from their office budgets, in favour of examining the rules and coming up with their own changes.

Lobbying czar has ‘concerns’ for her office’s budget, warns court decision could widen workload

The office’s work has ‘evolved in complexity, litigiousness, and level of scrutiny,’ says Nancy Bélanger.

Conservatives say they’re ‘confident’ Mark Norman will expose more Liberal wrongdoing

Peter MacKay says if Vice-Admiral Mark Norman speaks out about his ordeal, 'I don’t think it will mean good things for the Liberal government.'

Senate compromise on government’s signature impact assessment bill would put maligned regulators back in charge on environmental review panels

Plus, a ban on importing shark fins is now steps away from law.

‘They should be nervous’: Liberals now focusing ‘completely’ on election readiness in regional, national caucus meetings

News|By Abbas Rana
The Liberals will be under attack from all sides in the next election campaign, but Liberals say they have a good story to tell and some say they need to sharpen up their communications strategy before it's too late.

Ford’s cuts in social programs could be opening for federal Liberals to campaign against federal Conservatives in October, say Liberal MPs

News|By Abbas Rana
Conservative MP David Tilson says it’s too early to jump to any conclusion about the impact of the Ford government’s policies on the next federal election outcome.

Remains of old barracks, guardhouse focus of ‘significant’ archaeological dig on Parliament Hill

MPs learned about the archaeological finds through a briefing from officials at the House Affairs Committee last week, during which new details about proposed work plans for Centre Block were shared.
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