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OTTAWA Canada’s First Ministers are targeted by radio and print ads produced by the Canadian Union of Public Employees. In a radio spot, CUPE’s National President Judy Darcy puts the First Ministers on notice: “Canadians are clear, we want our health care dollars spent on public health care not a penny for profits.”

In addition to running in the Ottawa market in the days prior to the First Ministers meeting next week, the ads are being sent to federal and provincial elected representatives and made available as PSA’s from coast to coast.

The radio and print ads are part of CUPE’s campaign on health care accountability. In a letter sent earlier this month, Darcy urged Prime Minister Chrt0069en to bring a package of real transparency and true accountability measures to the upcoming First Ministers meeting.

“Real transparency requires timely reporting to Parliament on how our health care dollars are spent. True accountability requires that this spending be directed in such a way as to ensure that the principles of the Canada Health Act are respected. Finally, accountability is meaningless if it is not accompanied by rules for health care delivery as well as enforcement to ensure compliance,” wrote Darcy.

In order to press home the need for real accountability on health care spending, CUPE will soon be filing an application with the Federal Court to challenge the federal government’s failure to meet its statutory responsibilities under the Canada Health Act. “The Auditor General has repeatedly found this government’s accounting and reporting of spending on health care to be inadequate. Chrt0069en and McLellan have failed to enforce compliance with the principles that safeguard public health care,” said Darcy.

CUPE’s print ad highlights the results of a January 2003 Pollara public opinion survey. The First Ministers many of whom will face reelection in the coming year are asked to consider the following facts:
  • 81% of Canadians believe the provinces must guarantee federal health dollars are spent on health care and provide clear reporting as a condition of receiving more federal health care funding
  • 92% want federal funding specially earmarked for health care, as recommended by the Romanow Commission
  • 77% want the Prime Minister and premiers to ensure that earmarked health dollars go exclusively to public, not-for-profit health care
CUPE’s President Darcy will join Maude Barlow (Council of Canadians), Christine Burdett (Friends of Medicare) and Mike McBane (Canadian Health Coalition) for a news conference at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, February 4, in the Charles Lynch Press Room (130-S) on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Campaign materials including the radio and print ads and the full Pollara report are available below.


For information, contact:
Robert Fox, CUPE Communications
(613) 795-4977 (cell) or (613) 237-1590 ext 264