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BROCKVILLE, Ont. – Ontario’s home care system, already damaged by the McGuinty government’s continuation of Mike Harris’ contracting out policy, may be only weeks away from further harm if the province lifts its ban on competitive bidding when service contracts expire March 31, union officials,  health care experts and home care workers warned at a Brockville news conference today.

“Mike Harris did much to hurt our home care system and the Liberals not only allowed that to continue, but now appear set to make things even worse by bringing back a twice-suspended system of competitive bidding for home care contracts,” said Kelly O’Sullivan, President  of CUPE 4308 in Brockville today.

Today’s news conference was the launch of a province-wide media tour by CUPE Ontario in partnership with the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC). 

The centerpiece of the CUPE-Ontario Health Coalition tour is a video produced by CUPE Ontario featuring interviews with real home care workers, families and home care recipients from across Ontario.

“We are appealing to everyone in Ontario—patients and families and concerned citizens— to insist that this government redirect its whole approach to home care before it’s too late,” the Coalition’s Jim Riseberry said.

CUPE Ontario and the Ontario Health Coalition are demanding that the moratorium on competitive bidding be made permanent and the government start rebuilding a system of direct home care service rather than continue to expand in the contracting out regime brought in by Mike Harris’ Conservative government.

CUPE is the largest union in Ontario with over 220,000 members.

For information, please contact:

Chris Watson    CUPE Communications             416-553-9410