Election 2000: Who will fight for Medicare?

Major parties look for credibility on Medicare, but their records tell a different story

With less than three weeks left in the federal election campaign, HEU members are being urged to make their votes count for Canada’s embattled health care system.

“That health care is the number one issue in this election is no surprise,” say HEU’s full-time officers in a letter sent to every HEU member. “The stresses and strains of delivering care top the news. And HEU members live that reality every day.”

During the course of the campaign each of the major political parties has claimed they oppose two-tier, American-style health care. But their records on health care tell a different story.

The Liberals cut billions from health care and failed to stand up to Ralph Klein when he introduced private hospitals legislation in Alberta. The Alliance says it will provide provinces with tax room instead of cash, leaving Ottawa powerless to enforce the Canada Health Act. Stockwell Day’s party also says we should accept the reality of private clinics.

Joe Clark and the Progressive Conservatives supported Alberta’s private hospitals’ legislation.

The NDP and Alexa McDonough says they’ll boost health care spending and outlaw federal cash going to private clinics. The NDP has consistently targeted the Liberals for delivering huge tax breaks to banks and corporations while refusing to fix the health care system.

“There’s a lot at stake in this election,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “All of us have a responsibility to make sure we elect representatives who’ve put a priority on the strengthening and modernization of Medicare.”

There are many resources for HEU members who want to compare the political parties’ positions on a variety of issues. You can find a link to them on the internet from HEU’s web site at .