Rallies protest federal heath cuts

March 31 was the first anniversary of $36 billion in cuts to federal health care transfers.

Public health care advocates rallied in front of the Nelson court house to protest federal Conservative cuts to health care.

The Tuesday rally was part of a multi-city, national day of action drawing attention to the $36 billion in reductions in federal health care transfers over the next decade to BC and other provinces.

The Hospital Employees Union wrote in a statement, “For British Columbians, federal cuts to health transfers mean $5 billion less for hospitals and other health services. Advocates will be demanding action by federal politicians to restore the billions of dollars cut by the Harper Conservatives.”

Nelson Chapter of the Charter of Canadians Sandra Nelken, Hospital Employees’ Union Shelley Bridge and Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall spoke to the crowd.

Mungall said federal cuts are affecting Nelson directly with Interior Health attempting to contract out 18 laundry workers positions from the Nelson hospital. Nelson councillor Robin Cherbo said a proposal will be put to council regarding Kootenay Lake Hospital laundry services on Tuesday, April 7.

Bridge spoke about the privatization of Nelson laundry services, encouraging people to sign a petition and attend the April 7 council meeting.