Union leaders representing more than 200,000 nurses, health professionals and care workers demand public consultation on Ford government’s omnibus health care bill

Don Mills, Ontario, CANADA

TORONTO, March 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

What: Union leaders are asking how the government can claim it is creating health care “teams” when the organizations representing hundreds of thousands of members of that “team” have never been consulted. More importantly, they note, the public has never been consulted, yet the government is moving Bill 74 through the legislature at top speed.

Bill 74 is the Ford government’s omnibus health care legislation in which it has given itself and its appointees in its new “super agency” wide-reaching new powers to force unprecedented health care restructuring without any public consultation, including mergers, closures and privatization of hospitals, long-term care, home care, diagnostic services, clinics, community care, mental health and addictions services, community health centres, and others.

The legislation was only brought to public awareness due to a leak to the media by the NDP several weeks ago after they received the legislation and internal documents from whistleblower(s) in the civil service.

The legislation was introduced to the legislature formally last Tuesday and is already in second reading. The government has not made clear whether or not they will hold any public hearings. Unions have joined community groups and patient advocates in calling for province-wide public hearings and real public consultations.

When: Thursday, March 7 at 1:00 PM

Where: Media Studio, Queen’s Park, Main Legislative Building, Toronto

Who: Michael Hurley, President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions and First Vice-President, CUPE Ontario;
Ed Arvelin, Chair, Mental Health and Addictions Division and Executive Board Member;
Sara Labelle, Chair, Hospital Professionals Division and 2nd Vice-President, OPSEU; and
Chris Buckley, President, Ontario Federation of Labour

For further information, please contact:
Michael Hurley, President OCHU/CUPE (416) 884-0770
Sara Labelle, 2nd Vice President, OPSEU (905) 914-4037
Meagan Perry, Communications Director, Ontario Federation of Labour (416) 894-3456 l mperry@ofl.ca