CUPE paramedics in Ontario have clinched a major victory in the fight to maintain public control and ownership of emergency health care services.
In a decision that is sure to influence other municipal governments, Durham Region had ruled out privatization of ambulance services, unanimously endorsing a fully public system.
Responsibility for ambulances in Ontario has been downloaded to municipalities without adequate compensation. As a result, many municipalities are looking to the private sector to provide emergency services.
But a joint study by three of the largest regional governments in the province - Durham, York and Halton - has concluded that a private service would be “more costly and less efficient.”
Paramedics are mounting a province wide campaign to defend public ambulance service and highlight problems with overcrowded hospitals and cuts in staffing.