OTTAWA – Hundreds of union activists are meeting with Members of Parliament and Senators today to discuss issues they want to see addressed in this Parliament’s first budget — with national pharmacare as their top priority.
“We know that universal, public pharmacare will be less expensive and keep more people healthy and out of the hospital,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “For 7.5 million Canadians that are uninsured or underinsured, pharmacare won’t just change their lives, it can save them.”
Canada’s minority governments have a history of advancing public policies that have significantly improved the lives of millions of families. On top of pharmacare, labour activists are also pressing the need for a $15 federal minimum wage, protections for worker pensions and the ratification of ILO Convention 190 on ending violence and harassment at work.
“On C-190, Canada brought this to the ILO and we have an opportunity to show real leadership by becoming one of the first countries to ratify it,” said Yussuff.
The creation of a federal minimum wage for workers in federally regulated workplaces would lift up more than 70,000 workers. These workers have been without a minimum wage since 1996, it is long overdue.
It has also been too long that workers have been told they have to wait for the creditors to be paid before they get the pensions they are owed. The government needs to protect these workers so they can retire with confidence.
“This government has a historic opportunity, and mandate, to build a more progressive Canada,” added Yussuff. “When Canadian workers come together, our collective voice has real weight with decision-makers. Canada must grasp this opportunity to make pharmacare a reality and improve Canadians’ lives.”
The Canadian Labour Congress is the voice of Canada’s labour movement representing over 3 million union members who work in every industry across the country.
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