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(OTTAWA) Despite Ralph Kleins claims to the contrary, Albertas private health care bill clearly violates at least three of the five principles of the Canada Health Act, according to a legal opinion prepared for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

The 51 page legal analysis, prepared by the distinguished BC law firm Arvay Finlay, demonstrates that Albertas Bill 11 would create a two-tier health care system, violating principles that provide for comprehensive, universal and accessible health care.

“The so-called Health Protection Act should be labelled the Medicare Destruction Act,” said CUPE National President Judy Darcy.

“Our lawyers have documented chapter and verse what Albertans have been discovering as they read through Kleins private health care bill,” said Darcy. “The only consistency is inconsistency and the only logic is the logic of privatization.”

The legislation fails to outlaw queue jumping and private hospitals despite the governments claims that it does. The Tories have used weasel words and narrow, circular definitions to hide their health care privatization plans. Bill 11 clearly permits two-tier health care to flourish in Alberta.

“Its time for Allan Rock to stop hedging his bets,” said Darcy. “Albertas plan makes a mockery of the Canada Health Act and Ralph Kleins making a monkey of the federal minister.”

CUPE has been leading the fight to stop private hospitals in Alberta. Yesterday it released a legal opinion showing NAFTA would leave other provinces vulnerable to American health corporations looking to duplicate Albertas private hospitals across the country. Combined with the evidence that Bill 11 contravenes the Canada Health Act, CUPE is asking the Chrt0069en government to block the controversial bill.

“What are the Liberals waiting for?” asked Darcy. “What more evidence do they need? Canadians look to the federal government to uphold the law and protect Medicare. Its time the minister took action.”

CUPE, Canadas largest union, represents 480,000 women and men working in health care, emergency services, education, municipalities, social services, libraries, utilities, transportation and airlines, including 150,000 health care workers.

The legal opinion and supporting documents can be viewed at www.cupe.ca/arvay

  • Executive Summary

    Download the legal opinion in Adobe Acrobat format

  • Alberta’s Private Health Plans put Canada on NAFTA road of no return

For information:
Catherine Louli (613) 237-1590 #268 or (613) 851-0547 cellular

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