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CHARLOTTETOWN- A welcoming committee was waiting for the Premiers of Canada and territorial leaders when they arrived last night in Charlottetown, PEI.

Labor activists braved the cold to protest the delays in implementing the recommendations of the Romanow Report on health care.

The demonstrators sang songs, carried placards and chanted slogans demanding the Premiers stop dragging their feet on such an important matter for all Canadians.

Prince Edward Island Premier, Pat Binns listened attentively as CUPE-PEI president Donalda MacDonald urged the Premiers not to sacrifice the Health Care System in the search to balance their books.

MacDonald urged the social activists to stand together to protect and expand our health care system: “Our medicare system belongs to us – we fought for it – it's ours!” she told supporters. “Let our message to the premiers be very clear today, we will not stand idly by and watch it be sold off to the highest bidder.”

Afterwards, Premier Binns admitted to the demonstrators that the province was far from having achieved the Romanow Report recommendations. He added, though, that he felt Prince Edward Island had made significant progress with the construction of the new Prince County Hospital and the new cancer center.

The Premiers are in Charlottetown to put the finishing touches on the Council of the Federation. This Council would be a forum that would allow the Premiers to negotiate with Ottawa.

Last night's rally was organized by the PEI Health Coalition. The president of the Coalition, Mary Boyd accused the premiers of having conveniently forgotten that the public are the real stakeholders of the public Medicare system .

For more information:

Danielle Savoie, CUPE Communications, 506-381-1966