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Dear Mr. Martin,

Congratulations on becoming leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. In the coming months, you are going to face many tough challenges. The members of our union can relate, because we work hard every day, often under difficult conditions, making a real difference in the lives of Canadians.

We work in hospitals, schools, water plants, child care centres, group homes and other important public places, and our goal is to provide quality public services. Weve seen first hand the impact privatization has on all Canadians. Thats why were clear that private interests have no place in public services, especially when it comes to the services Canadians value most, like health, education and water.

As our prime minister, we call on you to protect and strengthen the programs and services that are so vital to Canadians. We understand that you are always keen to hear new ideas. Here are some ideas from the 535,000 members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees:

  • Take aggressive action to protect our universal health care system. We must stop any move to privatize hospitals or other health care services.
  • Deliver the best possible value for money by ensuring that not a penny of the tax dollars we contribute for vital public services is diverted into corporate profits. Canadians dont want more boondoggles. Private ownership or operation of public assets means higher costs and less public accountability.
  • Take advantage of public sector municipal workers to deliver publicly-funded infrastructure programs. Right now, they are barred from working on projects funded by the federal infrastructure program. This makes no sense.
  • Deliver on a new deal for municipalities so that Canadian cities can thrive and prosper.
  • Ensure our pension funds, administered by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, are not used to privatize public services.
  • Protect the power of the Canadian Parliament and the Canadian people to set public policy in the public interest. Stop negotiating deals with the World Trade Organization that put Canadas public services on the international auction block.

Good luck in your new job. Half a million public service workers will be watching.

Paul Moist
National President, Canadian Union of Public Employees

Claude Gnreux
National Secretary-Treasurer, Canadian Union of Public Employees