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The pouring rain and howling winds subsided long enough on Saturday, Dec. 14 for more than 250 people including seniors, students, and HEU members from across the Lower Mainland to gather for the VGH local’s “Light a candle for health care” vigil.

The Honk for Public Health Care signs were out in front of the hospital as people lit their candles and responded to passing motorists who sounded their horns in solidarity..

Guest speakers included newly-elected COPE councilor Ellen Woodsworth, B.C. Coalition of People with Disabilities representative Jane Dyson, Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations’ president Rudy Lawrence and HEU president Fred Muzin. All delivered strong messages against the Campbell Liberal health agenda for its passage of Bill 29, the legislation that ripped up legitimate collective agreements and opened the door wide to the contracting out of critical hospital support services such as security and housekeeping..

A surprise guest was the HEU Grinch who joined the street-side advocates for public health care and garnered his own share of favourable honks and smiles, especially when children were in the cars. Adults welcomed his company too, as the Mt. Crumpet resident joined in with health care carolers at the end of the vigil.

Stay on the alert for other sightings of the HEU Grinch as he makes his way around the Lower Mainland with more health privatization and contracting out warnings.