Unions Rally in P.G. to Protest Cuts to Health Transfers
Prince George, B.C. – Unions rallied against what they say are federal healthcare cuts this afternoon in Prince George.
BC Government and Services Employees’ Union (BCGEU) president Stephanie Smith said today’s rally, and dozens more like it across the country today, mark the one year anniversary of the expiration of the Canadian Health Accord.
“And rather than re-negotiating a new accord with the provinces and territories, the federal government has chosen to cut $36 billion in transfer payments.”
She said the cuts are all about priorities.
“Absolutely. We are not an impoverished country, we’re not an impoverished province, and it’s always about spending priorities,” says Smith. “You know our healthcare system is one that is envied around the world. I speak to people all over the place at different functions and they say “why on earth would you not continue to publicly provide health care that is accessible to everyone, regardless of their income?”
She added the cuts are especially hurtful to northern communities.
“Particularly in rural areas and isolated communities. There’s already so little service in those communities that people are having to travel huge distances to get the healthcare they need. It’s only going to worsen.”
The BC Health Coalition, an advocacy group for public health care, have helped organize the rallies in hopes of influencing this year’s federal election.