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MONCTON An ambulance responding to an urgent call to save Canadas health care system is on its way through New Brunswick.

“Kleins plans pose a serious threat to Medicare across the country,” said CUPE National President Judy Darcy. “Once private corporations get their foot in the door in Canada, were worried the privatization virus will spread across the country like wildfire.”

The ambulance, driven by CUPE health care activists, has already passed through Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. At every stop along the way, community members have expressed their concern about health care privatization, and have voiced their overwhelming support for public health care.

The ambulance has collected hundreds of signed postcards calling on Federal Health Minister Allan Rock to outlaw private hospitals and increase funding for public health care.

“Were demanding increased, permanent funding in next weeks federal budget. Years of underfunding have created this health care crisis. Privatization wont fix it only public funding can save Medicare,” said CUPE New Brunswick President Susan Barton.

The ambulance stopped at rallies in Moncton and Saint John today, and will travel throughout the province between now and March 1. A full itinerary is attached.

CUPE has developed five key demands to protect health care and respect the principles of the Canada Health Act. They are: stop Albertas private hospital legislation; restore funding for all health care, including acute and long term care; introduce national home care and drug plan programs; reform primary care; and exempt health care from trade deals specifically NAFTA and future rounds of the World Trade Organization.

CUPE, Canadas largest union, represents 475,000 women and men working in health care, emergency services, education, municipalities, social services, libraries, utilities, transportation and airlines, including 140,000 health care workers. For background about the campaign, and to view a travel log of the ambulance tour, visit www.cupe.ca.

For more information, contact:
Susan Barton
(613) 791-9692 (cell phone on the ambulance)
Karin Jordan, CUPE Communications
(613) 237-1590 ext. 250

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