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More than 400 Canadians from every province and one territory gathered in Ottawa this past weekend for the Peoples Summit on Health Care and they were unanimous in rejecting the health deal worked out last week by the First Ministers.

Determined to defend and strengthen public, not-for-profit delivery of health care for all, delegates from unions, health coalitions and social action groups promised to mobilize a firestorm of reaction to the deal. A strong CUPE contingent helped build support for active resistance to premiers and corporations pushing privatization.

Delegates called on the federal and provincial governments to protect public health care from privatization in any form and ensure not a penny of our public health dollar is directed to corporate profits.

In an action plan adopted by the Summit, groups vowed to intensify their actions, escalating resistance at the local, provincial and national level, leading to a national day of action or general strike. In addition to a workplace canvass and public outreach, there was strong support for direct action, including demonstrations, sit-ins, occupations and actions to obstruct the construction of P3 hospitals or private clinics.

With seven provinces expecting elections in the coming year, delegates also agreed to press this issue with candidates. And there was support for building the strength of local, provincial and national coalitions to oppose privatization and assure quality health care for all.