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OTTAWA – As the provincial standing committee on social policy heard submissions on Bill 36, CUPE National President Paul Moist and 200 health care workers from four unions protested the service-cutting legislation at a noon rally.

“Bill 36 and local health integration networks (LHINs) are about cutting services to communities,” Moist said. “We need to send a message to Premier Dalton McGuinty that health care is not for sale in Ontario.”

Protesters from CUPE, SEIU, OPSEU and ONA said LHINs were misguided and are being pushed through without enough public consultation. The four unions represent nearly 200,000 health service workers. Bill 36 – slated for passage on March 2 – permits the transfer of health services from the public sector to private providers through the LHINs structure.

“Our parents fought for public health care and we will stand up and carry on that fight against this deceptive legislation,” Moist said. “Doing anything less is unacceptable – we must fight.”

“Let’s make a strong commitment from all four unions to support public health care in our communities,” Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions added.

Workers attended the rally from Kingston, Cornwall, Smiths Falls and other Eastern Ontario communities.