rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

More than 250 people at health-care forum in Victoria

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

People gathering for the town hall meeting. Photo: Adrienne Silnicki

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow, health-care campaigner Adrienne Silnicki and organizing assistant Ava Waxman are in Victoria demanding a Canada health accord that defends and expands public health care.

Yesterday morning at 8 a.m. PST, Silnicki participated in a "Medicare has us covered" youth action with people holding red umbrellas outside the hotel where the premiers were meeting. She reports, "The visual was awesome and when we walked around the back to a wall of windows where the premiers were eating they saw us." Official Opposition health critic Libby Davies and deputy health critic Anne Minh-Thu Quac came out to express their support for the action. The action itself was organized by the Council of Canadians, Check Your Head, the British Columbia Health Coalition, Canadian Doctors for Medicare, and others.

By 9:20 a.m. PST, a media conference was underway featuring Barlow, Vince Terstappen of Check Your Head, Val Avery of NUPGE, and Dr. Vanessa Brcic of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. The media release for this quotes Barlow saying, "The Harper government should be looking across Canada to find best practices in health care and tie their implementation to an accord based on predictable, sustained federal funding that includes a six per cent escalator for a full 10 years." Media present included CTV National News, CBC TV, CBC Radio, and RDI.

By early afternoon, the Globe and Mail was reporting, "Canada's premiers are blasting Ottawa's new health funding formula as 'unprecedented and unacceptable.' Confronted with a 'non-negotiable' plan for a decade of health-care transfers, the premiers assembled in Victoria Monday hoping to come up with a plan to recoup potential losses under the flag of innovation. But Prime Minister Stephen Harper brought them up short, telling CBC there will be no more cash from Ottawa and urging the premiers to figure out their innovation efforts with what is on the table. B.C. Premier Christy Clark, host of this year's Council of the Federation, emerged from a morning meeting to say the talks must go on. 'The premiers were unanimous that the federal government's decision to unilaterally decide funding is both unprecedented and unacceptable,' she told reporters."

In response, by 2:30 p.m. PST, Silnicki had prepared a media release stating, "The Council of Canadians is hopeful after an announcement delivered by Premier Christy Clark today at a Council of the Federation meeting in Victoria, B.C. Clark said that the premiers have agreed to work together and demand accountability from the federal government on the 2014 health care accord. 'We're very concerned about the protection of the Canada Health Act under the Harper government. If Harper continues on his current path, health care is going to become fragmented across Canada with some provinces being able to offer more services than others,' says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. 'It is essential that premiers stand together with the people of Canada and demand accountability from the federal government.'"

Then starting at 6:30 p.m. PST, with local media warning of a "snow blizzard" to come this evening, Silnicki reports that more than 250 people assembled for a public forum at the Da Vinci Centre. Barlow, Diana Gibson of the Parkland Institute, and Mike Luff of NUPGE were presenting. This public forum was video-taped and will soon be posted to our website.

For Council of Canadians blogs related to the Canada health accord talks, please click here.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.