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SUDBURY – Ever since the Ontario Liberals introduced Bill 8, the so-called Commitment to the Future of Medicare Act in November 2003, protest against its powers to undermine public health care has been mounting in facilities, activist groups and communities across the province.

Over 27,000 of Ontario’s hospital workers, represented by the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU), have held meetings to discuss and adopt a strategy to challenge Bill 8 and its negative consequences for public health care, patient care and jobs in the sector. In addition to flyers, petitions and letters written to MPPs, the Health Minister and Premier, OCHU representatives will be making presentations concerning the Bill at the Standing Committee on Justice and Social Policy of the Ontario legislature in five different cities over the next two weeks.

The first public hearing is in Sudbury on Tuesday, February 17th, 2004.

Who: Michael Hurley, President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions
Joanne Arnold, President, Local 1623
Bill Kotsopolous, President, Local 139 (North Bay)
What: Standing Committee on Justice & Social Policy
Presentations by hospital worker representatives re: Bill 8
Where: Howard Johnson Plaza, Sudbury
When: 11:30 am (Hurley & Arnold) and 4:30 pm (Kotsopolous)(entire hearing runs from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm)

The text copy of the OCHU presentation to the Standing Committee can be found at www.cupe.ca.

The Ontario Council for Hospital Unions (OCHU) represents over 27,000 hospital workers in over 80 hospitals.

For more information, please contact:
Michael Hurley, President, OCHU, c: (416) 884-0770
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, c: (647) 224-0662