Ryan Maloney (The Huffington Post Canada):
The tragic image of a Syrian boy lying dead on a Turkish beach spurred difficult questions this week about whether or not Canada is doing enough for refugees in crisis.
But on Thursday, other images online sparked discussion about the kind of language members of Stephen Harper’s government have used in the past to discuss refugees.
At least two people shared photos of taxpayer-funded mailouts — apparently sent to the constituents of Conservative MPs in the past few years — that boast about government cuts to health-care services for refugee claimants.
One mailer, allegedly sent by Ontario Tory candidate Scott Reid in 2012, featured a survey asking if refugees should get “gold-plated dental, vision, and drug benefits?”
Recipients could check a box saying either it isn’t fair to give “better benefits to refugees than Canadians,” or one stating refugees should indeed get “better government benefits than Canadian citizens.”