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Tour will visit 22 Ontario communities

Toronto The Council of Canadians, the Ontario Health Coalition, and the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE) are launching a new campaign against for-profit health care. A provincial tour kicks off on Monday, September 30th in Sioux Lookout, moves across Ontario, and ends in Toronto on December 10th.

The tour features Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians, and academics from McMaster University who recently authored a study demonstrating that for-profit hospitals have higher mortality rates than not-for-profit hospitals. CUPE president Judy Darcy, as well as labour activist and OCHU president Michael Hurley, will also be on the tour. Activists from the Ontario Health Coalition will assist in creating action plans against for-profit health care in each community.

We oppose for-profit health care because it costs more, is inefficient, and as the McMaster study demonstrates, it is dangerous, says Maude Barlow. We support public health care like most Canadians because we see health care as a human right and not a commodity to be bought and sold.

The implications of our study suggest that if Canadian hospitals were converted to private, for-profit hospitals, it would result in 2,200 additional deaths a year, says Dr. P. J. Devereaux, clinical scholar and co-author of the McMaster study.

This is a crucial time in Ontario, as new for-profit hospitals are under construction in Brampton and Ottawa, says Michael Hurley, OCHU president. Under the Eves government, the privatization of our health care system is expanding. The fight to keep our hospitals and health care services public is now thats what this campaign is about.

In communities across Canada and around the globe, people are mobilizing to stop the handover of healthcare to corporations, says Irene Harris of the Ontario Health Coalition. Whats more, they are succeeding. In Prince Edward Island, a community outcry recently stopped a for-profit hospital in the making. In New Zealand, the government is re-investing in public health care. We are going to bring some of the energy from those campaigns to the fight in Ontario.

Tour schedule follows:
  • Sioux Lookout, Sept. 30
  • Kenora, October 1
  • Thunder Bay, October 2
  • London, October 3
  • Kingston, October 7
  • Cornwall, October 8
  • Oshawa,
  • October 9
  • Peterborough, October 10
  • Brampton, October 15
  • Lindsey, October 1
  • 6Cambridge, October 17
  • Windsor, October 21
  • Guelph, October 22
  • Hamilton, October 23
  • Arnprior, October 30
  • Brockville, November 4
  • Ottawa, November 5
  • Pembroke, November 6
  • Sudbury, November 12
  • St. Catharines, November 13
  • North Bay, December 9
  • Toronto, December 10

For further information, please contact:
Andrea Addario, CUPE Communications,
416-292-3999, ext. 240 or 416-738-4329 (cell)
Michael Hurley, President, OCHU/CUPE,
416-884-0770 (cell)
Alison Fisher, OCHU/CUPE Campaigns,
416-599-0770, ext. 22
Natalie Mehra, Coordinator, Ontario Health Coalition,
416-441-2502, or 416.230.6402 (cell)
Guy Caron, Media Officer, Council of Canadians, (for Maude Barlow),