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February 6th, 2023

Health union leaders and NDP call for health funding to go to hiring – not for-profit corps that will poach

OTTAWA — Canada’s NDP joined with unions representing hundreds of thousands of health care workers Monday to call on Justin Trudeau to make rebuilding public universal Canadian health care — not funnelling funds and staff to for-profit facilities — a condition on health care funding,

Jagmeet Singh, leader of Canada’s NDP, was joined in Ottawa Monday by Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE); Angela Preocanin, first vice-president of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA); and JP Hornick, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/SEFPO). Together, the leaders warned that if Trudeau signs off on Conservative premiers’ for-profit health care schemes, the health care staffing crisis will get much worse.

“People should not have to keep waiting in pain because there aren’t enough health care workers,” said Singh. “With the new Canada Health Transfer, Justin Trudeau can make things better for patients by hiring and rebuilding the public health system — or he can make the crisis even worse, by funding for-profit schemes that will poach staff from hospitals,” said Singh.

OPSEU, OCHU/CUPE and ONA along with SEIU Healthcare and Unifor jointly penned a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.

“Funding private clinics will further damage the ability of Ontario’s public sector hospitals to provide high-quality care and make it even more challenging to retain front-line staff,” warns the joint letter. “It’s a dangerous plan that will undermine safe staffing levels and universal access to care.”