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TORONTO Despite the Ontario Liberal governments campaign and throne speech commitments about breaking P3 hospital schemes initiated by the previous Conservative government, Premier McGuintys announcement today will bring in private-public partnership hospitals in Ottawa and Brampton according to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Anyone who believed the Ontario Liberals when they promised to protect public health care has been betrayed today, says Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)/CUPE, reacting to the Liberal governments announcement. The government is keeping these contracts secret, they were negotiated behind closed doors and, for all practical purposes these contracts result in P3 hospitals. Hospital services will be privatized and the public has no idea how much this will cost.

CUPE and a coalition of unions and citizen groups warned Ontarians the Conservatives were selling off hospitals just before the election. During the campaign, the Liberals promised to stop deals in the works for William Osler Health Centre in Brampton and the Royal Ottawa Hospital. CUPE and the coalition will meet on Saturday to plan their campaign against the Liberals P3 hospitals.

These issues are too important to be negotiated secretly between the Premier and multi-national corporations. The deals should be made public now, before they are signed, so that all Ontarians can participate on an informed basis in this critical debate.

CUPE has warned Ontarians about the perils of hospital privatization and contracting out for years. Several background documents on the perils of P3s and privatization can be found on CUPEs website at www.cupe.ca .

Bringing the private sector into our hospitals will increase costs significantly to the taxpayer and reduce accountability, warns Hurley. Private corporations operating in these models earn profits of up to 25% a year. Those profits are taken from hospital operating budgets, leaving fewer staff, fewer beds and reduced services.


For further information, please contact:

Michael Hurley, President, OCHU, 416-884-0770

Kaj Hasselriis, CUPE National Communications, 613-798-6925 (cell)

James Chai, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999