Last week, Postmedia News reported, “Canada’s 13 premiers convene in Halifax this week (November 22-23) for a key meeting on the state of the national and global economies — a gathering they say should have included Prime Minister Stephen Harper.” The article adds, “All provinces are concerned about the federal government’s decision a year ago to scale back the size of increases in annual federal health transfers, Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said…”

To highlight Harper’s absence from these talks and the need for his government to support public health care in Canada:

– we were able to place (through donations from our supporters) a 1/4 page newspaper ad in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald while the premiers were meeting (see photo);

– chairperson Maude Barlow and health care campaigner Adrienne Silnicki wrote an op-ed in the Huffington Post that states, “In addition to chopping $36 billion in transfer payments, the federal government is negotiating a new trade agreement with the EU that will add $2.8 billion to drug costs. …Harper is well aware that his refusal to negotiate a 2014 Health Accord and the downloading of almost $40 billion will encourage provinces to charge patients out-of-pocket and bring in more for-profit services.” This can be read at

For more information on our campaign to protect and expand public health care in Canada, please see

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Brent Patterson

Brent Patterson is a political activist, writer and the executive director of Peace Brigades International-Canada. He lives in Ottawa on the traditional, unceded and unsurrendered territories of the Algonquin...