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OTTAWA – As Ontario’s health and finance ministers prepare to announce the province’s second privately financed, owned and operated hospital, the country’s largest union is calling on federal health minister Allan Rock to protect public health care from these dangerous schemes.

WHAT: News conference announcing urgent call for federal action as the Ontario government announces a second public private partnership hospital.

WHEN: Friday, December 7, 10 a.m.

WHERE: National Press Theatre, 150 Wellington St., Ottawa

WHO: Judy Darcy, CUPE National President

Claude Gnreux, CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer

Michael Hurley, President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

Doug Allan, CUPE Researcher

WHY: A similar private hospital is in the works in British Columbia and private clinics are gaining ground in Alberta, creating a triple threat to Medicare. British privately financed, owned and operated hospitals have delivered poor quality care at high cost to taxpayers. Canadians, including front line health care workers, oppose privatization of public health care.

CUPE represents a half-million members providing front line public services in health care, education, municipalities, social services, libraries, utilities, transportation, airlines and emergency services, including 180,000 health care workers.

A CUPE-led campaign in Prince Edward Island stopped a similar private hospital plan in 1999. For background on the problems with private hospitals, visit cupe.ca.

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For more information, contact:

Sandra Sorensen, CUPE Communications

613-237-1590 ext 268, or cell. 416-712-1161