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The Globe and Mail

Protesters in Surrey target Immigration Minister’s speech

Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney was in Surrey on Tuesday for a speech to the Surrey Board of Trade.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Protesters clashed with police outside a Surrey, B.C., golf course where Immigration Minister Jason Kenney was speaking to a business group Tuesday.

The 20 demonstrators were angry over federal cuts to health care benefits for refugees, with one protester managing to make it inside the breakfast meeting of the Surrey Board of Trade, where she shouted at Mr. Kenney before agreeing to leave.

Mr. Kenney called the protesters "extremists" and said their actions showed the government is on the right track.

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He defended Ottawa's move to cut some health and dental benefits for refugees, saying they should not get supplemental benefits that are not available to other Canadians.

Mr. Kenney also brushed aside criticism the government's new immigration rules will allow Ottawa to cherry-pick immigrants.

He says the reforms are designed to ensure that newcomers to Canada get jobs instead of ending up unemployed or underemployed.

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