Health card questions
Opposition asks if immigrants who used motel address involved in investigation have P.E.I. health cards
After hundreds of immigrants allegedly used a Charlottetown motel as their address, Opposition health critic Sidney MacEwen wants to know how many of them got P.E.I. health cards. Speaking to the media Wednesday, MacEwen said his concern is whether those people are using health services in other provinces while P.E.I. pays for them.
“They should be auditing this. We should have caught this a long time ago,” he said.
Recently released search warrants show the Canada Border Services Agency found hundreds of immigrants used the same addresses between 2008 and 2015.
Those addresses were the Sherwood Motel and a Charlottetown home belonging to one of the motel’s owners. Economic Development Minister Chris Palmer has said only 17 of those people who applied through the Provincial Nominee Program used the motel as their address with the province.
The motel’s owners are facing several charges for allegedly aiding and abetting misrepresentation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. MacEwen said previous reports from P.E.I.’s auditor general found problems with out-of-province health-care billing without the proper documentation.
He wondered if that included any of the people who used the motel as their address.
“Hopefully Health P.E.I. has picked up on this,” MacEwen said.
A statement from the province said applicants for health cards are required to have supporting documents, which includes those for permanent residency.
Those permanent residency documents are validated through Citizenship and Immigration Canada before health cards are provided. MacEwen also raised his concerns during Wednesday’s question period but did not get clear answers from Health Minister Robert Mitchell who said people have to be residents of P.E.I. for 183 days in order to get a health card.
“We will continue to monitor who has health cards on Prince Edward Island…to ensure that all those needs are being met and the needs of immigrants are being met when they come and they spend six months on Prince Edward Island, or 183 days, and that they do receive those health cares.”