Health minister urged to make privatization contracts public

News release

By forestalling inevitable release of contract details, Fraser Health Authority not acting in public interest — HEU

B.C.’s health services minister Colin Hansen must force the Fraser Health Authority (FHA) to release details of contracts its signed with private security and laundry companies, says the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE).

The call comes on the heels of FHA’s refusal yesterday to make public the details of a contract it signed with Toronto-based multinational Intercon Security Ltd. Last month, in response to a union information request, the health authority also refused to release the contents of a controversial deal it struck with K-Bro Linen Systems, the multinational that’s currently shipping dirty hospital laundry to Alberta.

HEU says that given previous rulings under B.C.’s freedom of information laws, the health authority will be forced to release the information, eventually.

But HEU spokesperson Zorica Bosancic says given the concerns that have been raised about the health and safety of patients and hospital workers, the public needs that information now — not a year from now.

“Unfortunately, we expect the health authority to employ every stalling tactic it can to keep these details away from public scrutiny,” says Bosancic.

“It’s now up to the minister to get the health authority to stop dragging its feet and provide British Columbians with the information that can help ensure an open, transparent and accountable process, ” she says.

In the meantime, HEU says it will continue to press for the information to be made public through freedom of information and privacy legislation.

-30- Contact Patty Gibson, Communications Officer, (604) 328-7393