Welcome - Our Mission and Vision
We believe that immigrants and refugees new to Canada deserve accessible affordable healthcare upon arrival, if they become ill or injured.
Most resident Canadians assume that Canada's immigrants and refugees receive access to healthcare upon arrival. They are surprised to learn this is not generally the reality. Each year thousands of our immigrants, refugees, and children and youth new to Canada are denied access to basic and urgent healthcare. The result is often devastating. After surviving war, disease and famine, thousands of Canada's newcomers find themselves once again in harms way, in the very place they sought safety. Current Canadian and Provincial Government policies deny many of them access to public healthcare just when they need it most. Their dreams and futures are suddenly ended or set back years by untreated disease, injuries, and huge medical bills.
A majority of Canadians are from somewhere else, either now, or in the recent past. This reality defines Canada more than any other. Every generation since the first new Canadians arrived over 500 years ago, has been marked by its waves of new arrivals seeking opportunity and freedom while they built our Nation. Our time, our generation is no different. Everything we enjoy, our democratic and free foundations, our heritage, our culture and history, and our prosperity we owe in large part to immigration.This remains the noble and defining ideal upon which our Nation has been built. Canada is the world's defining global community, the world's gateway and first Port of Call. We invite immigration. When our newcomers are ill or injured, there is little debate they require access to healthcare. Anything less is inhume and hypocritical. We are a fair and compassionate nation. We open our hearts to refugees. We are moved by their hardships and admire their struggles to start over again. Yu fled the poverty, persecution and brutality of his homeland. In Canada, he had to wait for his refugee status. He lost any access to healthcare in this time. He took a job "under the table" to support himself , repairing our broken down elevators. An accident, an elevator slipping, severed off the front half of his feet. He was treated for over a year. His bills were enormous. The CVC stepped in.
Ana came to Canada 15 years ago. She left her homeland when threatened with death because she was from the "wrong religion". She applied for refugee status. She cleaned the latrines of our elderly in a nursing home. She worked "under the table", denied a work permit. She became part of the underground economy that supports us all. She was denied her own worker's rights. When Ana fell ill on the job and could not work, she lost her job and drifted into the shadows. She sought care at the CVC, unable afford the $500 required up front for an ER visit. A simple blood test, and an inexpensive medication retired her heatth. Anu was paid less than minimum wage. Now, she is a Canadian citizen.
Tem was 7 when he arrived in Canada from a refugee camp in Africa, where he was born and lived all his life. His father worked 2 jobs in Canada for 8 years to save the funds our country required before he could sponsor Tem and his family to join him. Three weeks after TEM arrived he contracted pneumonia. At age 7, short of breath, and with a rare heart malformation, Tem was turned away from the GTA Emergency room where he sought life saving care. Like Anu, they did not have the $500. Tem's family brought him to the CVC that same evening.
Anu and Tem are now Canadian citizens. Yu works "above the table". now. He has foot deformities. Tem goes to school now. He plays soccer with his new friends. Both his parents work in a factory. The CVC believes that all immigrants and refugee claimants in Canada, when ill or injured, have a right to accessible healthcare. This is the reason the CVC exists. This is our mission and vision. These are the values that define our organization.
The CVC believes that all immigrants and refugee claimants in Canada, when ill or injured, have a right to accessible healthcare. Illness must be treated and preventedThis is the reason the CVC exists. This is our mission and vision. These are the values that define our organization.
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"YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE"
is a new documentary film, the work of film maker Kevin O'Keefe, in association with i channel. The documentary focuses on the plight and horrible circumstances of medically uninsured refugees and immigrants - and their families, in Canada, and the politics that conspire to create this growing human rights and healthcare tragedy.
click here for more info
LinksREFUGEE DIARIES: CANADA
Refugee health stories when uninsured