Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

October 21, 2014 14:06 ET

Protect, strengthen and expand health care; town hall meeting in Courtenay

COURTENAY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Oct. 21, 2014) - Support for more health care funding in two of Vancouver Island's new ridings (Vancouver Island North-Comox-Powell River and Courtenay-Alberni) reaches nearly 90 per cent, according to a recent survey conducted for the Hospital Employee's Union. Yet BC is facing a $5 billion cut to health care funding by the federal government over the next ten years. By refusing to sign a new health accord with the provinces, the federal government is abandoning its responsibility to protect quality public health care services for all British Columbians.

Tonight in Courtenay, the Council of Canadians and the Hospital Employees' Union (the BC health services division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees) are hosting a town hall meeting to discuss what these cuts will mean for British Columbians, and what can be done to support public solutions to make our health care stronger for all Canadians.

"With fair federal funding, we can create the health care system we need, with quality public health care for every British Columbian and every Canadian," says Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. "But when the federal government let the 2004 Health Accord expire and refused to negotiate a new agreement with the provinces and territories, it walked away from its responsibility to protect our public health care system."

Barlow will be joined by Paul Moist, national president of CUPE, Dr. Duncan Etches from Canadian Doctors for Medicare and Barb Biley, Health Accord campaign organizer and Hospital Employees' Union provincial executive member, at tonight's town hall to discuss the need for the federal government to be a full partner with British Columbia and the other provinces and territories on health care.

"Without a new agreement, it will mean $36 billion less for Medicare over the next 10 years. This is not acceptable," says Moist. "Over 87 per cent of British Columbians - along with Canadians in every region of the country and across party lines - support public solutions to make health care stronger. What we're missing is real federal leadership to protect our public health care system."

The town hall will feature in-depth discussions on how health care funding cuts will affect services for British Columbia and explore effective ways to expand public health care to better serve the changing needs of Canadians - such a public home care, long-term care and a national pharmacare program.

The Council of Canadians and HEU invite the public to participate in the town hall meeting.

When: Tuesday, October 21st
7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Where: Filberg Centre
411 Anderton, Courtenay, B.C

Media are invited to attend.

Contact Information

  • Daniel Gawthrop
    CUPE BC Communications

    Neil Monckton
    HEU Media Relations

    Sujata Dey
    Media Officer
    Council of Canadians
    613 796-7724