Pre-election throne speech belies past practice HEU

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The Campbell Liberals’ throne speech was long on rhetoric and election promises but fell short on delivering the facts, says the Hospital Employees’ Union.

“This government can’t whitewash its record of broken health care promises,” says HEU acting secretary-business manager Zorica Bosancic.

“And they can’t deny the experiences of B.C. families who’ve struggled to cope with cuts, closures and the most aggressive privatization agenda in the country.”

The Campbell Liberals tarnished record includes:

  • creating a crisis in seniors’ care by eliminating thousands of long-term care beds while failing to deliver on their promise to build 5,000 new ones;
  • shutting down or downgrading hospitals in communities like Kimberly, New Westminster, Victoria and others;
  • letting hospital operating rooms lie idle while contracting out surgeries to private companies;
  • tearing up health care contracts and firing 8,000 skilled, experienced health care workers — most of them women — and cutting wages for the newly privatized workforce to the lowest rates in the country;
  • slashing wages for LPNs, cardiology technologists, lab assistants, computer specialists, hospital trades workers and others by 15 per cent — generating a looming recruitment and retention crisis and contributing to plummeting staff morale; and
  • squandering more than $2 million on fees and expenses for its appointees to health authority boards.

“If the public was looking for relief they won’t find it in this throne speech,” says Bosancic. “What they got instead was an election platform — no more believable than the last one — wrapped up in pomp and ceremony.”