(506) 857-2125

The presidents of provincial labour federations are putting pressure on the federal government to step up their contributions to public health care and protect Canada’s public system from Conservative right-wing provincial privatization schemes.

Through letters to Prime Minister Trudeau, the New Brunswick Federation of Labour, along with other federations of labour, call for improvements to the capacity of our publicly-funded and publicly-delivered health-care system. This comes in response to some provincial governments throwing open the door to private, for-profit health services – funneling public dollars into the pockets of private corporations and their shareholders by outsourcing medical procedures that will further burden the public system with more costly and complicated care requirements.

“Health care workers are at their breaking point,” says Daniel Legere, President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour (NBFL). “These workers are facing the psychological and physical pressure of trying to deliver the best care with inadequate resources. Canada cannot emerge stronger from this pandemic unless we retain workers with pandemic experience and build a system that can adequately respond to the needs of everyone.”

Recently New Brunswick released its health care action plan which sets the stage for more privatization. For example, New Brunswick is now publicly funding a private health care provider to provide virtual health care visits.

We must recognize that the pandemic has highlighted several weaknesses in our care system. The solution to filling these gaps and shortcomings in our public system is sustainable, appropriate funding and better planning, not duplicating services in a private shadow system. Private clinics are in direct conflict with the pride that Canadians feel when we talk about our universal, quality public health-care system.

“The fact that our public health care is so effective speaks volumes about the workers and what they can accomplish under unimaginable pressure,” say Daniel Legere, President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour. “There is so much more to health care than ventilators and needlesticks. Without the people training and prepared to deliver the care, our system will collapse.”

Health care workers provide so much to people, the emotional and social support needed when facing illness. Labour representatives are also desperately asking for a national workforce plan to address the critical staff shortages that have been exasperated by COVID-19. We must ensure that all money coming from the federal government is invested into our public health system and stop those who want to undermine it and profit from it. Using public funds for private services violates the Canadian Health Act but recent attacks show us we must be vigilant in protecting our public health care.

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For additional information, please contact:

Daniel Legere
President
New Brunswick Federation of Labour
(506) 857-2125