Municipalities move to protect public health care

HEU community allies take motion to city councils that demands accountability from Campbell government

HEU community allies are taking a resolution forward to municipal councils around B.C. that calls on the Liberal government and health authorities to consult the public and account for the social and economic impact and international trade ramifications of deep health care cuts the Campbell government is preparing to announce.

The councils of the District of North Vancouver and the City of North Vancouver have passed the motion with slight variations to tailor it to their specific requirements. It is scheduled to come back to councils after review by committees in Burnaby, Hope and Port Coquitlam. And, as pressure from local government mounts, other municipal councils including Williams Lake and Terrace will be looking at the motion.

The motion asks municipal councils to call on health authorities and the provincial government to:

  • conduct public consultations before going ahead with any hospital closures and role changes and health service cuts and privatization;
  • undertake comprehensive social and economic impact studies so that local councils know the effect that changes would have on their communities; and 
  • examine trade deals to ensure that any changes would not trigger provisions that would undermine public health care and take both jobs and dollars out of local economies.

Upon passage, councils also commit to writing to other local government jurisdictions to encourage them to support the motion.

HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt applauds the work of community groups and concerned individuals in bringing this motion forward. “This action provides an excellent opportunity for HEU members to show their support for the work of community partners and other advocates of public health care right where they live.

“It’s also a good chance for our members to become acquainted with their mayor and councillors as municipalities gear up for civic elections in the fall. People are taking note of which local politicians are standing up for their communities and which are not.”

Most municipal councils make their agendas public several days before their regularly scheduled meetings through advertisements in local newspapers and on their websites. If you’d like more information about the motion, phone Margi Blamey in HEU’s communications department at 604-438-5000 (Lower Mainland) or 1-800-663-5813 (toll free), or e-mail: mblamey@heu.org.