TORONTO The future of Medicare is on the line. Over the last few years, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, (CUPE), has actively worked with coalition groups, across Canada, to ensure that our cherished Medicare program is strengthened and not diminished. We have heard from Canadians, from coast-to-coast, who remember life before universal Medicare when good health care was only available to those who could pay. To that end, CUPE has documented a visual chronology of what life was like for Canadians before universal, accessible health care.
The Toronto launch of CUPEs Medicare Exhibit will be held at a press conference tomorrow, November 9th, 2000 at 11:30 a.m. at the site of the former Doctors Hospital, Brunswick Avenue (just north on Brunswick at College). Sid Ryan, president CUPE Ontario, will attend the press conference along with Michael Valpy, the NDP candidate in the riding. The launch site is an appropriate reminder of what communities lose when hospitals like Doctors Hospital, which service the specific needs of neighbourhoods in our cities and towns, close. Doctors Hospital was among the forty-five hospitals closed by the Ontario Tory government over the last five years.
The restoration of health care funding by the federal government is a major issue in this election campaign. Until the recent influx of dollars from Ottawa, the Federal Liberals have undermined universal health care by not providing adequate funding. A good community hospital like Doctors Hospital is closed today because the Liberal M.P., the incumbent in the riding, didnt fight hard enough to keep a valuable part of community health care alive. On November 27th, everyone in this riding should vote knowing that their future health depends on the commitment of the candidate they elect, says Ryan.
The Toronto stop is part of a tour thats criss-crossing the province during the federal election campaign.
The gallery-style exhibit, called At the Crossroads: Medicare yesterday, today and tomorrow looks at life before Medicare. Produced by the CUPE, it highlights a workable plan to reform and expand public health care and stop health care privatization. At the Crossroads draws on archival photos and research, starting with the Great Depression in the 1930s.
CUPE, Canadas largest union, represents 485,000 women and men, including 150,000 health care workers.
For more information on CUPEs campaign to save Medicare, visit our web site, cupe.ca.
(EDITORS: The exhibit will be at the above Press Conference, following which it will be taken to the Ontario Federation of Labour Building, 15 Gervais Drive, Don Mills.)
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For more information, contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario (416) 209-0066
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications