OTTAWA—Public health care is a priority worth fighting for—and possibly the top priority for Canadians in the upcoming federal election, concludes a report released this week by CUPE and the Council of Canadians.
The report on the joint Health Accord Campaign is the result of a 15-month consultation in 15 communities, most of them targeted ridings narrowly won by the Conservatives in 2011. The campaign featured thousands of conversations in which Canadians shared their thoughts on how to protect, strengthen and expand the country’s most cherished social program, Medicare.
The campaign was prompted by a new federal Health Accord, announced by former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, which called for ten years of funding cuts starting in 2014.
“The response from Canadians was overwhelmingly positive,” the report says. “Most were not aware of the new Health Accord and the federal retreat from properly funding Medicare. Virtually all citizens expressed strong support for public Medicare and thanked our volunteers for the information we provided.”
CUPE National President Paul Moist thanked National Chairperson Maude Barlow and all the Council of Canadians activists, as well as the CUPE health care activists, who stood up for public Medicare and contributed to the campaign.
“Our job now is to ensure we keep the Health Accord and a strong federal commitment to Medicare front and centre of this year’s federal election,” said Moist.
Read the report here.