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ST. JOHN’S, NL CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas is reacting to recent comments from Premier Paul Davis urging union members to ‘vote strategically’ in the upcoming provincial election.

Says Lucas, “The premier is stretching his credibility when he urges public employees to vote for his party, to prevent what he calls ‘the real enemy’ from forming government. This from a leader and a government that continues to push forward on the privatization of nursing homes, and has downsized the public sector by thousands of jobs.

Lucas says, “Voters will certainly remember the provincial budget of 2013 which basically cost one of his predecessors her job, when his party announced two thousand layoffs in the public sector and cuts to vital services.

“Perhaps the premier could explain how with the writ about to be dropped, we still have no knowledge of who has submitted bids for those four new nursing homes. Are they contractors within the province or from outside the province? If so, trade deals such as CETA and NAFTA could have a direct impact. What are the costing arrangements? We know nothing about this P3 plan,” he says.

Lucas says there was a disturbing new report out this week suggesting that seniors are more likely to die within six months after going into privatized homes.