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TORONTO – Bill 8, the so-called Commitment to the Future of Medicare Act, opens the door wider to privatization of Ontario hospital services, CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan will tell the public hearings scheduled in Toronto on Tuesday, February 24th, 2004 at 11:00 am.

Bill 8 is a total reversal of what the Liberals promised the people of Ontario. They were elected to protect our public health care system – not to make laws that benefit those who want to make a profit from taking care of our sick and our elderly,” says Ryan. “Health care must remain publicly funded, owned, operated and delivered. Bill 8 threatens that.”

Public hospitals are the cornerstone of public accountability and accessibility in our health care system,” says Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU), who will join Ryan at the hearings. “Bill 8 paves a legal path for the government to restructure and privatize all Ontario hospitals. We all know how accountable private corporations are to the public – they’re not.”

CUPE members across the province have been protesting the unprecedented powers the proposed legislation gives the government to undermine the public health care system through privatization and contracting-out of health care services. For more information on CUPE’s campaign against Bill 8, please visit http://www.cupe.ca/www/57/bill_8.

  • Who:
    Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario
    Michael Hurley, President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions

  • What:
    Toronto Public Hearing on Bill 8
    Standing Committee on Justice & Social Policy

  • Where:
    Room 151, Queen’s Park

  • When:
    11:00 am on Tuesday, February 24, 2004

CUPE Ontario (Canadian Union of Public Employees) is the province’s largest union, representing 180,000 workers in health care, municipalities, universities, school boards and social services. OCHU represents more than 27,000 hospital workers in 80 hospitals in the province.


For more information, please contact:
Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario
416-209-0066 (cell)

Pat Daley, CUPE Communications
416-299-9739 ext 264
416-616-6142 (cell)