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Frustrated by a secretive, behind-the-scenes provincial government review of home care competitive bidding and the lack of public input, front line home care staff want to hear directly from Ottawa area home care recipients and home care workers about their experiences with home care under a competitive model.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is holding a media conference in Ottawa on April 2, 2008 to release a home care telephone hotline and detail why competitive bidding and for-profit delivery is unsuited for publicly funded home care.

WHO:  Debbie Chaudhari, Employee of a Home Support Agency, Ottawa
   Hugh Armstrong, Professor of Social Work, Carleton University
   Michael Hurley, President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE/OCHU)

WHAT: Home Care Media Conference

WHERE: Dalton McGuinty’s Constituency Office – 1795 Kilborn Avenue, Ottawa, ON

WHEN: Wednesday, April 2, 2008 – 10:00 a.m.

Studies show that, since competition was introduced a decade ago, the quality of home care has suffered, working conditions have diminished, and costs have increased as for-profit providers have taken over a majority of home care province-wide.

Despite the mounting evidence against competitive bidding and a for-profit home system, last week, in the Ontario Legislature, Premier Dalton McGuinty said he is not going to make the commitment to end home care competitive bidding. And although the McGuinty Liberals have stressed that the contract process is focused on quality services and not cutting health care costs, the Premier also said that his government thinks the “competitive bidding process is an important aspect of helping us to manage those costs.”

Hurley says that, “the adverse realities of home care competitive bidding, and for-profit delivery, are being ignored by this government. The hotline will provide an opportunity for those in Ottawa directly affected by contract competition to relay their experiences and give input into a process that the McGuinty government has shut them out of.”

For more information please contact:

Michael Hurley  President, OCHU/CUPE     (416) 884-0770
Hugh Armstrong  Professor, School of Social Work, Carleton University    (613) 520-2600  Ext. 1890
Valerie Dugale  CUPE Communications     (647) 225-3685