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REGINA The premier of Medicares cradle should lead the national effort to save it from the grave.

That was the message CUPE National President Judy Darcy delivered to Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow in a meeting today. Darcy called on Romanow to take a strong stand in the fight to save Medicare from privatization.

“Were literally days away from Ralph Klein ramming his private health care scheme through in Alberta. We want Premier Romanow to stand up for public health care, not stand by while its auctioned off to U.S. health corporations,” said Darcy.

Darcy presented Romanow with two CUPE-commissioned legal opinions showing how Bill 11 violates the Canada Health Act, as well as the NAFTA dangers of the bill. She urged Romanow to add his voice to the thousands of Canadians calling on federal Health Minister Allan Rock to take action to stop Bill 11.

“Saskatchewans legacy to Canada is a public health care system open to everyone. But the systems under threat and we want the Premier to speak out,” said Darcy. “The numbers are on his side on this one. The overwhelming majority of Canadians want to save and strengthen public health care. They dont want two-tier, for-profit care.”

CUPE is spearheading a nation-wide campaign to save Medicare that has included a month-long cross-country ambulance tour, demonstrations, lobbying and mass faxing, emailing and mailing to federal and provincial politicians.

CUPE also called on Romanow to defend Medicare in upcoming federal-provincial talks about health care reform.

“Privatization is the wrong prescription for Medicare. Public solutions are the best way to rebuild and reform health care. We strongly urge the Premier to stop the privatization virus from spreading across the country,” said Darcy.

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.

For more information:
Tom Graham (306) 229-8171 or
Pam Beattie (613) 761-8796

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