This fall, vote for medicare
Health care is emerging as a top-drawer concern among Canadians. And so it should.
The question is: what is our next government prepared to do about it? If Stephen Harper’s current leadership is any indication, the answer is nothing.
A number of alarming trends in health care are rapidly eroding our medicare system.
• A lack of federal leadership has enabled more private clinics, illegal fees, and queue-jumping.
• 38 P3 hospitals planned or underway in four provinces.
• Seniors struggle to get care, with no national long term care plan anywhere in sight.
• Hospital cleaning services are being contracted out.
Here’s what we’d like to see:
• Implementation of a public sector-only wait time strategy and national long-term care plan.
• A national infrastructure fund to build and redevelop hospitals and long-term care facilities.
• A national strategy to combat health care acquired infections.
• A health human resources strategy that offers better working conditions, training, and upgrading programs and wage parity to improve retention and recruitment in the health sector.
Tories fail on green jobs, climate change
Canada is neither reducing its greenhouse gas emissions nor shifting to a sustainable economy with green jobs. This election gives us a chance to change this.
CUPE and the NDP agree that Canada must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions [PDF] to 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
Here’s what we’d like to see:
• Adopting a cap and trade system to ensure big polluters pay for their climate damaging practices.
• Promoting energy efficiency.
• Investing in rail and mass transit infrastructures.
• Accelerating the development of renewable energy sources.
• Deploying a Just Transition program for workers affected by losses of job in the “old” economy.
Democracy requires participation
One of the first things the Harper government did after the 2006 election was cut funding for government funded agencies that advocated for women and disenfranchised groups.
A partial list:
• They eliminated the Court Challenges Program.
• They cut the budget for Status of Women Canada.
• They took the word ‘equality’ out of Status of Women’s mandate.
• They eliminated the First Nations and Inuit tobacco control strategy.
• $55 million cut from youth employment programs.
• $17 million cut from adult learning, literacy, and essential skills programs.
We’d like to see funding for all organizations and agencies restored to their 2006 levels.
Visit the CUPE election page
Why should Conservative web designers have all the fun this election? Visit CUPE’s 2008 federal election page for contests, quizzes and an election pool.
There are things to do to satisfy the political junkie or marketing genius in you – and you can win nifty CUPE prizes too.
• Election Quiz: each week we will be coming up with a new quiz on election events and party policies.
• Election Contest: come up with a cute, clever slogan or maybe a photo caption and submit it to our election contest.
• Election Pool: guess how many seats each party will win on Election Day.
We will, of course, also be writing about the issues that matter to CUPE members, and urging union activists to get involved to make change, one vote at a time.
Lucas says retroactive pay “must get fixed”
CUPE Newfoundland President Wayne Lucas said it was “unacceptable” that the provincial government chose to give retroactivity pay to health care managers before front line staff.
“What appears to be a difference of interpretation regarding some Labour Relations Board orders has resulted in a delay in the payments. We have told these employers in no uncertain terms that this situation is unacceptable,” he said.