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The 2006 federal election debates will provide good opportunities for CUPE members to decide if candidates will stand for accountability, strengthened public services and improved working conditions.

For this election, CUPE has focused on the following:

  • Health Care
  • Cities and Towns
  • Women
  • Children and Child Care

As you watch or listen to the debates, we would appreciate feedback on issues of importance to CUPE members and working people. Some overall questions to consider ahead of the debate include:

  • Which leader will defend and strengthen public services?
  • Will the candidates take up “our” issues?
  • Did privatization in health care get talked about to your satisfaction?
  • Which leader had the best things to say on health care?
  • Do you think child care got proper treatment?
  • Which leader impressed you the most overall?

Below is some background information and questions to answer as you watch or listen to the debate.

Health Care
Privatization a threat to our health care system. Years of privatization have lead to the growth of for-profit clinics and long-term care facilities. Health care needs expansion to cover a national pharmacare program, long-term care and home care.
Q. Did the candidates say the right things on public health care?

Cities and Towns
Public services and the infrastructure of our cities and towns have been talked about during the election. Roads, sewers, waste, water treatment and public transit are all part of infrastructures. Some candidates have discussed municipal infrastructure and local municipal services; services that make our communities strong, healthy and sustainable.
Q. Did the candidates say the right things on public municipal infrastructure and local municipal services?

Because a majority of CUPE members are women, our union takes a special interest in advancing women’s equality, health and economic wellbeing. Some candidates have largely ignored women’s issues. Among other things, women want a government that supports an expansion of public services to end poverty for women and families.
Q. Did the candidates say the right things on issues of importance to women?

Canadians need public and accountable child care that is regulated, affordable, accessible and not-for-profit.
Q. Did the candidates say the right things on a public child care system?

Other issues to look for:

We know that Private Public Partnerships (P3s) are bad for public services. This form of privatization reduces or eliminates public services, does away with good jobs from the economy and guarantees tax dollars are converted to private profits.
Q. Did the candidates say the right things on privatization?
Q. Did the candidates support strengthening public services and institutions or privatization?

Budget Surpluses
Canadians need improvements to social programs. The Liberals have amassed large budget surpluses. Some candidates have promised some form of tax cuts and others have advocated investing in public services and social programs.
Q. Did the candidates say the right thing on how the surpluses should be spent?