Phar­ma­care drive

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

On­tario unions are mark­ing Labour Day with the launch of a cam­paign call­ing for pre­scrip­tion drug cov­er­age for all Cana­di­ans and with a “call for fair­ness for all work­ers through much-needed amend­ments to Bill 148.”

In Corn­wall, work­ers, unions and com­mu­nity lead­ers will gather at Lamoureux Park Septem­ber 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Canada’s unions have fought hard to win health in­sur­ance cov­er­age for our mem­bers,” said Louise Lanc­tot, Pres­i­dent of the Corn­wall and District Labour Coun­cil, “But we’re not stop­ping there.”

An es­ti­mated 3.5 mil­lion Cana­di­ans can’t af­ford to fill their pre­scrip­tions, she added. Many are split­ting their pills or skip­ping days to stretch the pre­scrip- tions they do fill, she said.

“No­body should be forced to choose be­tween pay­ing for gro­ceries and pay­ing for the med­i­ca­tion they need,” said Elaine Mac­Don­ald of the Health Coali­tion. “That’s why we’re work­ing to win a uni­ver­sal pre­scrip­tion drug plan that cov­ers all Cana­di­ans re­gard­less of their in­come, age or where they live.”

“With­out amend­ments to Bill 148, many On­tario work­ers will be left out of the Labour Re­la­tions Act and the Em­ploy­ment Stan­dards Act,” said Ms. Lanc­tot. “We are work­ing hard to de­mand the changes that will stop the rise of pre­car­i­ous, in­se­cure work and set the con­di­tions for de­cent work for all.”

While the On­tario govern­ment has com­mit­ted to rais­ing the min­i­mum wage to $15 an hour by 2019, higher wages are just one part of cre­at­ing de­cent work, the unions say.

“We’re call­ing for changes that would make it eas­ier to join a union, such as card-check cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and we’re de­mand­ing changes that set a fair stan­dard in the work­place for all work­ers whether they are union­ized or not.“

The Phar­ma­care cam­paign web­site, www. aplan­forevery­one.ca, launches on Labour Day.

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