BURNABY—With billions of dollars in funding already gone—including more than a quarter of a billion slashed from federal health care transfers to fund B.C. hospitals, long-term care facilities and community care last year—British Columbians must unite this fall to defeat the Stephen Harper Conservatives in the federal election, CUPE BC Secretary-Treasurer Paul Faoro told a health care rally in front of Burnaby Hospital today.
“This year, it’s another $116 million in cuts that our province must absorb. By 2024, B.C. is projected to lose nearly $5 billion in funding from Ottawa for health care. That is totally unacceptable,” said Faoro.
“Lack of funding is having an impact on care – particularly for seniors. We know that many of B.C.’s elderly do not receive the attention they require. And we know that three-quarters of B.C. care aides say they are being forced to rush through basic care for the elderly and disabled because of high workloads and reduced staffing.”
Faoro told the crowd that this fall’s federal election will give Canadians an opportunity to think about how they can best vote for public health care.
“To take back the public health care agenda, we need to elect a new government in Ottawa. But not just any new government. We’re not going to get there with Justin Trudeau, who thinks he can learn on the job. Sorry, Justin—that’s not going to fly. And we know the Liberals will signal ‘left’ during the campaign but take a hard right turn as soon as they’re elected. They were the ones who started us down this road by reducing health care funding when they were in power.
“Sisters and brothers, if we want a well-funded national health care system, a renewed commitment to a national health care system from the federal government, and if we want to ensure that we have public health care for generations to come, then the only real choice in this next election is to support Tom Mulcair and the NDP. And I urge you to do that.”
The rally, organized by the Hospital Employees’ Union and the BC Health Coalition, was one of 25 taking place throughout B.C. today as part of a country-wide effort to save public health care.
Also speaking at the rally were HEU First Vice-President Carolyn Unsworth and Burnaby-Deer Lake MLA Kathy Corrigan.
To view photos of the event, visit the gallery.