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CUPE National Presiden Judy Darcy has told delegates to CUPE Nova Scotia’s 39th annual convention they should be proud of the fact that their union is leading the fight against privatization of public services across Canada.

CUPE Local presidents and activists from across the province are gathered in Sydney this week. Darcy told the convention that, “CUPE is saying loudly and clearly to government’s such as John Hamm’s to keep their hands off our services and our jobs.

Premier Hamm,” said Darcy, “our public services are not for sale!”

Darcy congratulated the local leaders for the determination and activism they’ve shown. She also had a warning, however. “We’re going to need this kind of strength even more in the days ahead. Because we are up against a right-wing nationally whose strength is at an all-time high.

We’ve been fighting them tooth and nail for the last 10 years – right across the country – and they’re bolder now than ever. Tearing up contracts, legislating workers back to work and privatizing public services wherever they can,” said Darcy.

Darcy told delegates that, “nowhere is the danger of privatization more clear than in the relentless attack on Medicare, our most cherished social program. We have faced attacks on Medicare before to be sure. But never before has the business interests in this country been so brazen and aggressive in their attack on health care and other public services.

What happens in the coming year,” said Darcy, “is going to determine the future of Medicare in Canada for decades to come,” referring to the findings of the Romanow Commission which are expected this fall.