TORONTO, April 15 /CNW/ - The resignation of prominent Vaughan
Conservatives from their riding association suggests that the federal
Conservatives' handing over $10 million of public money to a company
headed by former Fantino campaign fundraisers to develop a medical
industrial park "leaves some core supporters gob-smacked by the
impropriety," says Michael Hurley, the president of the 35,000 member
Ontario Council of Hospital Unions of (CUPE).
Ontario receives $262 less per citizen in federal transfers than any
other province for hospital care due to inequities in the transfer
formula. Ontario has the fewest number of hospital beds to population,
the fewest staff for those beds and shortest length of stay of any
province. In northern and rural Ontario local hospitals and emergency
rooms (ERs) are under threat of closure because of federal
"In almost every hospital in Ontario, significant services, beds and
staff are being cut. Dying patients are being forced out of hospital.
We have paramedics clustered at Emergency Rooms because there are no
beds to offload their patients. 4,000 Ontario patients die each year
from hospital-acquired infections because of over-crowding. If money is
available from the federal government it should go to clinical care.
That is where the urgent need is," says Hurley.
Similar medical industrial parks (to the one being proposed for Vaughan)
in Ottawa and in Toronto "have failed, miserably. Directing public
money to such a project shows how out of touch the Conservatives are
with the hospital situation in Ontario," says Hurley.
"We have yet to hear a definitive commitment from the federal
Conservatives that they will maintain the 6 per cent escalator beyond
2014," says Hurley. Starting in 2014 Ontario will lose $650,000,000 a
year unless that escalator is renewed. If not, the healthcare cuts will
Julian Fantino, MP for Vaughan and minister of state for seniors,
dangled federal support for a new hospital in Vaughan in a by-election
held last year.
"It's as though the family is hungry and Dad's bought home a case of
beer," says Hurley.
SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)
For further information:
| Michael Hurley || President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE) || 416-884-0770 |
| Stella Yeadon || CUPE Communications || 416-559-9300 |