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Unfortunately, you might be the only one. Or, rather, you don’t enjoy the support of the Federal Minister of Health.

CUPE, along with a number of other concerned organizations has launched a court challenge against the federal minister of health, Anne McLellan, accusing her of failing to ensure that provinces follow the Canada Health Act’s rules on providing accessible, universal and portable health care.

And you can help.

If you have written to the Federal Minister since 1999 to complain about violations of the Act, please let us know and send us a copy of your correspondence. Did the Minister respond. If so, how?

According to the Auditor General, since 1999 the federal government has not investigated any complaints of violations of the principles of the Act. The government has only a handful of complaints about the Act’s conditions (namely extra-billing and user charges).

The Auditor says she is “concerned that there may be cases of non-compliance with the criteria of the Act that Health Canada has not investigated.” We need to know if you have brought such cases to the attention of federal health officials.

The government says it gets its information about whether or not the provinces comply with the act from the provinces themselves, from media and other public reports, and from complaints.

And yet the minister’s most recent report to Parliament (2000/01) makes no reference to any complaint about violations of the Act’s criteria. Is yours one of the complaints she has ignored?

Unfortunately our timetable is tight - so we hope you can get back to us by the end of this month, but let us know if you have something that it will take a little longer to dig up.

You can send us information by clicking here, sending an email to research@cupe.ca or a fax to (613) 237-5508, Att: Research Branch.

Background on Canada Health Act challenge