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The New Democrats will introduce legislation this fall making a non-profit health care system the law of the land, federal leader Jack Layton told delegates yesterday.

We must stem the tide of privatization,” Layton said, calling the recent Supreme Court Chaouli decision “the most grave threat to medicare that we have faced. If Paul Martin won’t step up to the plate, we will.”

Noting that health care is not the only sector where “multinationals have their eyes on the cash flow,” Layton said that, after SARS, forest fires and other recent disasters, Canadians have a new appreciation of what it means to be a public servant.

Public service is what you do in our communities,” he added. “And the people who work in public service deserve better than what the Liberals have delivered. You have been attacked, downsized and privatized.” Layton called CUPE an “amazing organization.”