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Over 200 Ontario health care staff – among them, registered practical nurses, personal support workers, community care workers – attending their annual conference in Ottawa held a rally telling the federal Conservative government  to “fund health care, not warfare.”

They want the federal government to renew the 2004–2014 Health Accord which provided the provinces 6 percent a year in stable funding for health care. But what’s being offered and the policy choices the Conservatives are making, such as spending over $71 billion on armed forces jets, tanks and boats, is not in the best interest of Ontarians say the health care workers who were joined at downtown Ottawa rally by CUPE national and Ontario leadership.

The Accord was signed after deep cuts to health care funding, in the 1990s. However, even with the yearly six per cent increase, today, the federal government covers only one fifth of provincial health spending, where it used to cover half. The federal finance minister has announced that instead of funding increasing at 6 per cent each year transfers will be tied to economic growth, with a 3 percent floor. In all, this would mean a cut of $36 billion over 10 years, in health care funding to the provinces. Under the new funding formula Ontario, British Colombia and Quebec would be the biggest losers.

Health Care Rally Photo    Health Care Rally Photo

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