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TORONTO A coalition of unions and health care activists will launch a new court action today after the courts refused to order an interim injunction sought yesterday by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC), to prevent the Ontario Government from moving any further on Private Public Partnerships (P3) hospital agreements, pending the outcome of a judicial review.

We still have an opportunity to prevent these private hospitals, and we owe it to the people of Ontario to launch an appeal, says Michael Hurley, President of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE). Its obscene for the Conservatives to try to ram through these deals in their dying days. They continue to prevent the public from even seeing whats in these contracts.

While the interim injunction was not granted, the judicial review application to quash P3 hospital deals because they contravene the Public Hospitals Act, will still proceed. During arguments yesterday, CUPE learned that further approvals are still necessary to finalize these deals, and the next minister of Health will have the authority to revoke any approvals made.

Yesterday it was confirmed that the penalties for breaking these deals are minimal, compared to the costs Ontarians will be saddled with over several decades, to line the pockets of the Conservatives private sector friends, says Hurley. Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty should have no hesitation in canceling these deals. To fail to do so, would be to fail the people of Ontario.

P3 schemes make us tenants in our own hospitals and cost millions of dollars more than public hospitals in the long run, says Hurley. P3 hospitals in other jurisdictions have led to cost over-runs, staff and bed shortages, and higher death rates we cant let that happen in Ontario.


For further information, please contact:

Michael Hurley, President, OCHU
James Chai, CUPE Communications