Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.
OTTAWA – Michael Hurley, the President of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) will be holding a press conference on February 18th, 2004 at 2:00 pm just outside the doors of the Standing Committee on Justice and Social Policy of the Ontario Legislature. Hurley will describe how Bill 8 will undermine our public health care system through the unprecedented powers it grants the provincial government to restructure, privatize and contract-out public health care operations and services to private corporations.

“Bill 8 essentially paves a legal path for the government to restructure Ontario’s hospitals through privatization and contracting out of services,” says Hurley. “Bill 8 is the way the Liberals have chosen to translate health care privatization from a corporate agenda into public policy.”

The Minister of Health, George Smitherman talked about amendments to Bill 8 at a legislative hearing on Monday. Not mentioned, however, were amendments to block the privatizing powers of the proposed legislation.

“Such power can be used to force hospitals to reduce or consolidate services, contract-out health care services to private companies, and set aside current contract and employment agreements and commitments. That’s not what Premier McGuinty was elected to do,” argues Hurley.

“The Liberals campaigned against hospital privatization. They promised to stop the privatization of the Royal Ottawa Hospital. Instead, they are plowing forward, trying to pass legislation that the Tories could only dream of. We have no choice but to fight this.” Since the Liberals have been elected, they have increased the number of hospitals slated for privatization from two to eight.

“The Liberals cynically call Bill 8 the Commitment to the Future of Medicare Act. Hospital workers know this is actually the Commitment to Hospital Privatization Act,” states Hurley.

Over 27,000 of Ontario’s hospital workers, represented by the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU), are holding information and strategy meetings to challenge Bill 8 and its negative consequences for public health care, patient care and jobs in the sector.

Who: Michael Hurley
President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions
(Available to the Media at 2:00 pm)

What: Press Conference
(outside Standing Committee on Justice & Social Policy)

Where: Just outside Laurier Room
Courtyard Marriot Ottawa
Dalhousie Street, Ottawa

When: 2:00 pm
(entire hearing runs from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm)

A text copy of the OCHU written submission to the Standing Committee can also be found below.

The Ontario Council for Hospital Unions (OCHU) represents over 27,000 hospital workers in over 80 hospitals.


For more information, please contact:

Michael Hurley
President, OCHU
c: (416) 884-0770

Diane Kalen
CUPE Communications
c: (647) 224-0662