Hospital union calls for province to create a crown corporation to put closed
northern pulp and paper mills back to work

KINGSTON, ON, Jan. 29 /CNW/ - The Ontario government should create a crown corporation to take over the pulp and paper mills that have closed across northern and northwestern Ontario and put them back to work.

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE Secretary-Treasurer Helen Fetterly stated, "There is an employment crisis in northern and northwestern Ontario which the provincial government must address. We are calling on the province to create a crown corporation to take over the closed pulp and paper mills and put them back to work. We believe that the employment crisis will not be resolved in Ontario and especially in northern and northwestern Ontario without dynamic government intervention."

Louis Rodrigues, Vice-president of OCHU/CUPE, asked the parliamentary committee to ensure that hospitals are adequately funded in 2010. "Many Ontario hospitals are in deficit because an aging population is using their services in greater and greater numbers. Ontario's hospital system is the most efficient hospital system in Canada, with the lowest beds and staff to patients ratio and a shortest length of stay of any province. The answer is not cuts, which will make the hospitals less efficient, but real funding increases."

Ms. Fetterly also called on the province to exempt hospitals from the application of the HST.

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: For further information: Helen Fetterly: (613) 551-0688; Louis Rodrigues: (613) 531-1319; Michael Hurley, President, OCHU: (416) 884-0770

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