Health care advocates gather in St. John's to ask for leadership

Health advocates are calling on Canada's Premiers to demand that the federal government act to defend, improve and expand on our national public Medicare system.

St. John's (16 July 2015) — Canada's Premiers are in St. John's for their annual summer meeting. Health care advocates from across the country are also gathering to send a clear message to the Premiers and to the Prime Minister — our public health care requires leadership.

"Our current federal government does not take its role in public health care provision seriously. It is certainly time for the Premiers to join our insistence that Canada needs a federal government that will reinvest in our nation's health care," says Melissa Newitt, Interim National Coordinator of the Canadian Health Coalition. 

Federal government has stepped away from leadership role

Our public health care system is dependent on the leadership of our federal government to ensure stable funding and universal quality care for everyone. The current federal government has consistently neglected its leadership role and has promised $36B in cuts.

It is clear that Canadians want federal leadership to protect health care but also to expand it to include a National Strategy for Seniors and a National Drug Plan. Health care advocates in St. John's are calling the Premiers to join the call for federal reinvestment in public health care.

"The lack of adequate federal funding for health care is contributing to the strain on services here in Newfoundland and Labrador. Our Premier is even trying to privatize long-term care for seniors — we won't accept this in Newfoundland and Labrador, and we stand with everyone across this country calling for a National Strategy for Seniors Care," says Mary Clarke, Chair of the Health Coalition of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Events and a rally taking place in St. John's

The Canadian Health Coalition is working closely with the Health Coalition of Newfoundland and Labrador to organize  events in the city during the Council of the Federation.

  • A public town hall was held on Wednesday, July 15 at St. Thomas' Church on the risks of privatized health care and why we must take a stand for all seniors. Guest speakers included Canadian Labour Congress's President Hassan Yussuff, Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions Linda Silas, and Mary Clark, Chair of the Health Coalition of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • On Thursday, July 16, at noon, a rally will depart from the band stand at Bannerman Park.

Broad national coalition

The Canadian Health Coalition is a public advocacy organization dedicated to the preservation and improvement of Medicare. The National Union of Public and General Employees is a member of the Coalition and has a seat on the board of directors.

The CHC membership is comprised of national organizations representing nurses, health care workers, seniors, churches, anti-poverty groups, women, students and trade unions, as well as affiliated coalitions in 9 provinces and 2 territories.

More information:

Canadian Health Coalition

Canadian Health Coalition on Twitter: @healthcoalition


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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