Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

September 25, 2013 15:26 ET

Media Advisory: Fund health care, not warfare focus of Ottawa health care rally tomorrow Thursday, September 26, noon

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 25, 2013) - The Conservative federal government has signaled that it will not renew the terms of the Health Accord with Canadian provinces when the Accord expires in a few months. Under the Conservative's proposed new deal that ties federal health care funding transfers to economic growth, Ontario will stand to lose billions of dollars in health funding over the next decade.

Ontario health care staff - among them, registered practical nurses, personal support workers, community care workers - who are in Ottawa for their annual conference this week say the Conservatives are turning their back on our universal health care system. What's being offered, they say, and the policy choices the Conservatives are making, such as spending over $71 billion on armed forces jets, tanks and boats, is not in the best interest of Ontarians.

Over two hundred of them will be taking time out of their busy conference schedule for a rally at Lyon and Sparks streets, tomorrow (Thursday, September 26, 2013) at 12 noon to tell the federal government to fund health care, not warfare.

The 2004-2014 Health Accord provided the provinces 6 per cent a year in stable funding for health care after deep cuts in the 1990s. Even with the yearly six per cent increase, today, the federal government covers only one fifth of provincial health spending, where it used to cover half. The federal finance minister has announced that instead of funding increasing at 6 per cent each year transfers will be tied to economic growth, with a 3 per cent floor. In all, this would mean a cut of $36 billion over 10 years, in health care funding to the provinces. Under the new funding formula Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec would be the biggest losers.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, represents over 65,000 health care sector members who work in long-term care, hospitals, home care and other community-based care services province-wide. The CUPE Ontario health care workers' conference begins tonight, Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at the Ottawa Delta (City Centre) 101 Lyon St. North and ends on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at noon.

Contact Information

  • Stella Yeadon
    CUPE Communication
    (416) 559-9300