All immigrants should get care

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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I’ve had a few different responses to my letter of Monday, Dec. 28th, re: not being able to afford dental care, while our governments offer free dental care to refugees. At least one family member says, kindly, “You (could) come off sounding like Donald Trump.” A journalist friend congratulated me on my letter, as did one senior friend. As well, one dentist has called to offer some assistance of some sort and I have been given an appointment. So why am I prompted to write again?  

At no time have I indicated in my letter or any other correspondence that I disagreed with our governments helping refugees with their dental care and all care as we may see it upon their arrival in our country, our Island. They are far worse off than I am, and I have been closely following all these news stories as they break. I deliberately volunteered with the P.E.I. Association of Newcomers, to be able to assist with teaching English to our refugees when needed. Currently I’m working with a newcomer from Viet Nam and enjoying that challenge.  

All newcomers are here for a variety of reasons. Not all are from war-torn countries, not all have had their homes bombed and lost family members, neighbours, and close friends. But all deserve to be able to enjoy our language and in the case of refugees, yes, give them as much of our riches as we possibly can. If that includes free dental care, of course, offer it. As for me, I’m humbled that a local dentist would call and make any kind of an offer. That was never on my mind when I wrote my letter of Dec. 28. I had something to say and I said it. Just as I’m doing now.

Kathy Birt,

Mount Stewart

Organizations: P.E.I. Association of Newcomers

Geographic location: Viet Nam, Mount Stewart

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