Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

August 17, 2011 16:00 ET

"Competitive bidding" hurting homecare

CUPE & Ontario Health Coalition urge next government to scrap flawed system

RENFREW, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 17, 2011) - Competitive bidding in Ontario's homecare system is causing thousands of Ontarians to go without the care they desperately need, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario and the Ontario Health Coalition said today.

"The Ontario government must drop competitive bidding in homecare once and for all," says Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario. "The Liberal government has failed to stop the chaos that competitive bidding causes, and it has failed to create the public, not-for-profit homecare system Ontario needs."

The compulsory contracting-out of homecare services was introduced in the mid-1990s by the Mike Harris Progressive Conservative government, which included current party leader, Tim Hudak. The Ontario Auditor General's 2010 Annual Report found homecare in Ontario to be inequitable, insufficient and ineffectively measured and managed.

"We can turn this around by moving homecare under the principles of the Canada Health Act," says Sue McSheffrey of the Ontario Health Coalition. "Appropriate homecare is a public good, not a commodity to be bought and sold for profit. Homecare should be integrated into the continuum of health care services, and have enforceable, high quality standards – like the rest of the health care system."

Today's news conference is part of a province-wide media tour by CUPE Ontario in partnership with the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) to raise awareness about the disastrous competitive bidding model in homecare and to garner support for the elimination of this model once and for all. Homecare services are overwhelmingly delivered by for-profit companies in Renfrew and area, corresponding to the shift under competitive bidding across Ontario from mostly non-profit delivery to private, for-profit delivery.

As the provincial election nears, CUPE Ontario calls on Ontarians to support the candidates who will fight for a public, not-for-profit homecare system in our province.

View a video produced by CUPE Ontario featuring real-life stories from home care workers, recipients and their families:

Contact Information

  • CUPE Ontario
    Fred Hahn

    CUPE Communications
    David Robbins