Victoria protest marks anniversary, rallies support for health care workers

More than 100 health care workers and supporters turned out to a public leafleting session outside Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital on January 28 to mark the second anniversary of the Campbell government’s contract-breaking legislation — Bill 29.

The four-hour protest drew encouraging honks from cars entering and leaving the hospital, as well as a steady stream of such supportive comments as “good for you guys”, “keep up the fight”, and “we’re with you” from passers-by and hospital visitors.

Organizers say they distributed more than 2,000 leaflets, which focused attention on the Vancouver Island Health Authority’s rejection last month of a $21 million concessions offer made by the 1,200 health care workers who stand to lose their jobs to privatization.

Members of the public who stopped to talk with workers had an opportunity to hear from the “Raging Grannies” or try their hand at “Health Care Jeopardy” — a roulette wheel with a series of questions about Bill 29, VIHA’s budget, the tenets of the Canada Health Act, and privatization.

Supporters from the Victoria and District Labour Council, the Communities’ Solidarity Coalition and the nurses’ union joined HEU members from Royal Jubilee, Victoria General, Gorge Road, Central Care Home, Sunset lodge, and other health care facilities.