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CUPE paramedics in northwestern Ontario are fighting back against the possibility of privatized ambulance service.

The paramedics sponsored a series of public forums earlier this month in Red Lake, Ear Falls, Kenora and Sioux Lookout. The forums were extremely well attended, and appear to have forced the Kenora District Services Board and area hospitals back to the negotiating table to hammer out a public sector solution.

Three locals spearheading the fight (CUPE 822, 1758 and 4373) launched a public information campaign, alerting the public to the issue. Radio and print ads leading up to the November 13 election, combined with direct mail drops, news releases and the forums in pushing the ambulance issue onto the front pages of local newspapers and keeping it there.

CUPE has argued that ambulance services must remain in public hands.