Dosanjh rejects Klein's Bill 11, stands up for public Medicare

Premier Ujjal Dosanjh said that Albertaís Bill 11 is another step towards the privatization of Medicare as western provincial and territorial leaders wrapped up their first minister's conference - where discussion on Canada's health care system dominated the agenda - in Manitoba this week. "What worries me is that private clinics and privatization has crept into Canadian health care across the country and what this bill does, it moves the privatization one notch up," Dosanjh said according to media reports. "I think what we need to do is draw a line against further privatization," said Dosanjh. That's good news for B.C. says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. "Premier Dosanjh has obviously been listening to what British Columbians have been telling government," says Allnutt. "His message to Klein and to federal health minister Allan Rock is clear - private, for-profit health care is not an option here in B.C." In a February survey conducted by McIntrye and Mustel for HEU, 60 per cent of B.C. adults polled agree or strongly agree that the federal government should take all necessary steps to prevent the Alberta premier from privatizing surgical services and legalizing private hospitals. And theyíre looking to Ottawa to restore the billions of dollars it has cut from core health care services. That message was driven home to Allan Rock May 24 in Kelowna when an HEU-organized reception party of more than 60 pro-Medicare activists from the community and labour boisterously greeted him as he arrived to address a private meeting. Speakers pressed the minister to stop Kleinís privatization bill and to reinvest in health care.