The Hospital Employees’ Union/CUPE and the Council of Canadians are spearheading a campaign to press the federal government to open talks with the provinces and territories for a new Health Accord.
The current Health Accord, an agreement negotiated between the federal government and the provinces in 2004, provides for funding that supports our universal, public health care system in the form of transfer payments.
In December 2011, without notice or consultation, the federal government unilaterally announced that there would be no new Health Accord. Instead, federal transfers would remain the same until 2017 and then would be tied to economic growth with a three per cent floor.
There has been little protest from provincial and territorial governments, particularly B.C.
The northern Vancouver Island initiative is one of three locally focused campaigns being conducted in September and October. Similar campaigns are also underway on Prince Edward Island and in Kamloops, B.C.
We need people who can volunteer some time between September 28 and October 11 to hand out leaflets, make phone calls, knock on doors and talk with their friends and neighbours. The public is largely unaware of what we stand to lose as transfer payments for health care shrink.
On northern Vancouver Island, campaign organizers will be holding workshops to train volunteers and hosting several town hall meetings to raise awareness of the importance of federal government involvement in, and commitment to public health care by sitting down with the provinces and territories to establish a new Health Accord.
Workshops will be held in the Comox Valley and Campbell River beginning on September 28 and everyone is welcome. Town hall meetings are also planned with the dates and places to be confirmed.
If you are concerned and have some time available to work on this campaign, email 2014VancouverIslandNorth@gmail.com or phone 250-338-4067.
The Council of Canadians is Canada’s leading social action organization with a network of more than 60 chapters across the country including the Comox Valley and Campbell River.
The Hospital Employees’ Union (HEU) is the health services division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees in B.C. and represents more than 43,000 health care workers across the province.