Moncton – The Presidents of the Provincial and Territorial Federations of Labour are calling on Canada’s Premiers to reject an irresponsible Federal Conservative “plan” for healthcare. In an open letter from the labour leaders to the Premiers, attending a meeting of the Council of the Federation in Victoria today, the Premiers are asked to stand up and support Canada’s most important social program: universal healthcare.
“We believe, as many Canadians do, that the Harper Government’s December announcement is an abdication of its responsibility,” says Michel Boudreau, President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour. “Our letter to the Premiers is a call for true leadership on healthcare – leadership that we are not getting from Ottawa.”
As the Federation Presidents outline in their letter, the Harper Government has proposed significant cuts to healthcare funding, beginning in 2017. The announced cuts come after the federal government made the decision to ignore the issue of establishing a new Health Accord, the latest of which is set to expire in 2014.
“In a style that has become typical of the Harper Government, the provinces are going to be handed a take-it-or-leave-it decision without any meaningful dialogue whatsoever. If Prime Minister Harper is not willing to play a leadership role in securing the future of the healthcare system, then the Premiers must take a stand on behalf of Canadians, on behalf of the values upon which our nation and our healthcare system were founded.”
The New Brunswick Federation of Labour represents 40,000 unionized workers across the province in both public sector and private sector affiliated unions.