Workers to Premiers: Act Now to Fix Health Care, Create Sustainable Jobs and Make Life More Affordable

July 10, 2023

WINNIPEG—Canadian Labour Congress President Bea Bruske has written to Canada’s premiers outlining workers’ priorities for this week’s Council of the Federation meetings.

“Workers and families are looking to Canada’s premiers for action to fix the health care crisis, help families struggling with still-rising prices, and collaborate with workers on creating sustainable, union jobs in a low-carbon economy,” said Bruske. “We are looking to the premiers to put workers and families at the center of this week’s Council of the Federation.”

Bruske warned that people are particularly frustrated by a lack of progress on health care despite February’s health funding agreement between the premiers and the prime minister.

“Patients face another summer of long wait times and hospitals struggling to keep Emergency Rooms open, while health workers experience unsustainable hours and unacceptable working conditions,” cautioned Bruske. “Governments must work urgently with health care unions to improve working conditions to better recruit and retain workers.”

With wildfires and daily air quality warnings reminding people of the urgency for climate action, Bruske added that it is critical governments bring workers and industry to the table as Canada moves ahead on its clean energy industrial strategy.

“We are seeing a global transition to a low-carbon economy. Canada’s workers, industry and governments must work together to make sure our economy isn’t left behind as the world moves ahead,” explained Bruske. “Building thriving communities of the future starts with putting good, sustainable union jobs at the center of our industrial strategy.”

Bruske added that many people continue to struggle just to get by as prices for housing, food and medicines stretch family budgets to the breaking point.

“Governments must come together to create more affordable housing, implement publicly funded and publicly delivered pharmacare, and provide support for low-income families,” concluded Bruske. “This could go a long way to help families through today’s affordability crisis.”

Bruske’s open letter to the premiers is attached.

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