Stop Schedule 28 Pack the Gallery at Queen’s Park; Rally Against E.I. Cuts
You Can Help Stop Schedule 28: A Call to Action
Everyone who is concerned about the privatization of our public services needs to take action as soon as possible. Amendments to the Budget Bill are due by the end of the day on Tuesday, so we do not have much time.
Please do the following:
For those in and around the Toronto area, please come to the Legislature (Queen’s Park) at 10 am this Monday (June 11) to help fill the Legislature Gallery to make a strong statement opposing Schedule 28 of the Budget Bill. We Are Ontario/Common Front partners will meet you in front of Queen’s Park at 10 am. You enter the building through the doorway to the left of the main stairs. Security will tell you where to go if you need help. You need to tell them you want to go to the Gallery to see Question Period. Please email or phone us to let us know that you are coming: firstname.lastname@example.org Please get as many people to come out as possible.
Schedule 28 of the Budget Bill Creates a Privatization “Czar”
In addition to the service cuts that will be caused by the underfunding in the Ontario budget, there is another major section of the Budget Bill (Bill 55) that we are urgently working to have removed. Schedule 28 of the Budget Bill sets up new powers for cabinet and a new Minister (an uber Minister of privatization — termed the “Privatization Czar”) to override existing legislation and regulations. This Privatization “Czar” and cabinet are given new powers to order the privatization of any or all government services, including health care, water, hydro etc.
“Government services” are not defined in the legislation. The Bill enables cabinet – without going to the legislature – and the government by regulation to order the privatization of government services to for-profit and non-profit companies. Hospitals are specifically mentioned in Section 10. Lawyers are warning that this Schedule could allow privatization of our public health insurance system (Medicare) in Ontario. It certainly enables the government — without checks and balances — to privatize all kinds of functions under the Ministry of Health and hospitals.
Despite some media reports that say that Schedule 28 is limited to the privatization of Service Ontario (and that is bad enough), this is not true. In fact, Schedule 28 clearly applies to hospitals, the Ministry of Health and all government services; and it overrides existing legislation. Furthermore, despite reported amendment, the opposition parties have never seen any amendment. Moreover, amendment is insufficient. This whole Schedule is contrary to the public interest and should be withdrawn. If the McGuinty government wants to introduce a Privatization Ministry and a Privatization Bill, it can re-write it and bring it back in the next session of the legislature for proper debate.
We Are Calling for Schedule 28 to be Withdrawn
The Budget Bill is an omnibus bill that amends all kinds of legislation. This Schedule 28 of the Budget Bill has nothing to do with the budget. It has no business in a budget bill. It has far-reaching implications for social policy and the public interest. It is biased towards privatization, including for-profit privatization, and contains almost no requirements for transparency, democracy and no principles to guide government decisions. It allows private companies to collect and disclose personal information in a section of the Bill that is poorly considered, and it is not clear how this section interacts with existing legislation protecting patients’ privacy.
The entire Schedule 28 is dangerous,far-reaching and inappropriate to be included in a Budget Bill (which is being fast-tracked to pass it through the legislature before the end of June). At the very least it should be subject to robust political debate. Schedule 28 should be withdrawn from the Budget Bill.
Rally against cuts to Employment Insurance
Monday, June 11th, at noon at the office of Ted Opitz in Etobicoke Centre
Address: 577 Burnhamthorpe Road
Tory MP Ted Opitz just had his election overturned in Etobicoke Centre, where he narrowly defeated Liberal Boris Wrzesnewskyj by 26 votes. Opitz is appealing to the Supreme Court, but there Is no better place to demonstrate our anger at the massive cuts to EI being rolled out in the Harper budget.
Join the Steelworkers and other activists at noon on Monday, June 11th for a lively rally at 577 Burnamthorpe Rd. just west of Highway 427.
For more info contact Preethy at 416 441-3663 x 228.
For More Information:
Duncan MacDonald, Programs Coordinator
p: 416-443-7668 | f: 416.441.0722