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Issues, Campaigns and Government Relations

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Saving public health care

The BC Health Coalition, Council of Canadians and Parksville Qualicum KAIROS is hosting two public forums on saving public health care.

The events feature best-selling author and activist Holly Dressel, who recently published Who Killed the Queen? The Story of a Community Hospital and How to Fix Health Care. The book investigates the sustainability of Canadian health care and what it offers compared to other countries' health care systems.

Remember the origin of Labour Day

Today we take paid holidays, safe work places, medical care, unemployment insurance, fair hours, union wages and 'the weekend' for granted. But how many of these advances would have happened if it were not for the long-forgotten heroes who fought so hard to make unions, and Labour Day, a reality in the first place?

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Next Up: A leadership program for young people

Are you a 19- to 30-year-old who wonders what the future holds for the world? Are you concerned about things like climate change, poverty, public health and education, housing and trade policy? Do you believe that global and local issues are connected? Do you feel that our economic system is focused on profit at the expense of people and the planet? Do you believe that it is possible for us, as communities, to do things differently at home and abroad, to eradicate poverty, to deal with conflict peacefully, for everyone to have access to good public health and education services?

Unions launch legal challenge against election gag law

Lawyers representing seven BC unions filed documents and launched a legal challenge July 23 against Bill 42.

Bill 42 originally attempted to restrict third party election advertising for five full months before the next provincial election. Following widespread criticism, Bill 42 was amended but still goes far beyond any similar laws in the country and essentially shuts off all third party election advertising for three months before the next election.

Tentative agreement for 11,000 HSAA members in Alberta

Three-year proposal contains increases totalling at least 14.5%, plus lump sum payments, new flexible spending accounts and improved benefits

Edmonton (9 July 2008) - The Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE) is conducting a ratification vote on a tentative three-year agreement affecting more than 11,000 paramedical professional and technical employees across the province.

HSA Political Action Fund available to support members running or working in November municipal election

HSA Political Action Fund available to support members running or working in November municipal election

HSA members who are running for municipal office, or working on campaigns to elect candidates for local government positions, can apply to HSA for the following financial support from HSAs Political Action Fund:

1. Members who are candidates can apply for up to 5 days of wage replacement and/or up to $200 to cover approved personal expenses incurred to run for office. 

Coalition puts spotlight on secret government drug deals

Groups representing seniors, consumers and labour say access to affordable medicines threatened in Canada

Ottawa (3 July 2008) - A coalition of groups representing seniors, consumers and labour is investigating a trend among provincial governments toward signing secret tender agreements with pharmaceutical companies.

A research report released Thursday by Aidan Hollis, an economist at the University of Calgarys Institute for Advanced Policy Research, suggests that the coalition has legitimate cause to worry.

Ontario fails to set minimum nursing home standards

Toronto (19 June 2008) - The Ontario government has broken an election promise to set a minimum standard of care for the 75,000 people who live in long-term care nursing homes across the province.

Premier Dalton McGuinty made the pledge in 2005. Critics have called for a standard of at least 3.5 hours of care daily for elderly patients living in long-term care institutions.

Residential Schools: Moving from apology to action

In the June 11 Vancouver Sun, the B.C. Federation of Labour, and several of its affiliated unions, including HSA, called on Canadians to move from apology to action to work to improve the lives of Canada's First Nations.

The Canadian government's formal apology yesterday over horrific abuses in residential schools is an important first step.

Now we all need to do our part to move forward from apology to action - to go forward with aboriginal people on the path to reconciliation, self-determination, dignity and justice that has so long been denied.