© Heather Taweel - The Guardian
Mary Boyd, right, with the P.E.I. Health Coalition speaks at a rally for a new health accord held at the Murphy Centre in Charlottetown on Monday as Carl Percy, left, president of the P.E.I. Federation of Labour, Lori MacKay, CUPE, and Leo Broderick, Council of Canadians, look on.
Ten-year agreement signed by Premiers and Prime Minister Paul Martin in 2004 ends March 31
Despite poor weather conditions, a small group gathered at the Murphy Community Centre in Charlottetown today for a public rally protesting the expiry of federal health funding agreements.
The agreements, which became known as the health accord, assured federal leadership and stable funding for the medicare system. It was signed in 2004 by the then-prime minister Paul Martin and expires on March 31.
The Conservative government will now transfer money to the provinces for health care and refuses to negotiate a new deal, the protest heard.
Island health care advocate Mary Boyd said the expiry of the health accord will lead to 14 different health care systems, both provincial and federal.
“P.E.I. (residents) will not get the health care they deserve,” said Boyd.
The P.E.I. Health Coalition will lobby the federal government in hopes of getting a new health accord, she said.
“When it comes to the health accord, we need to negotiate, not accommodate,” she said.
Dozens of events are being held across the country as part of a National Day of Action to protest the health accord’s expiry.
Prince County residents rallied outside Egmont MP Gail Shea’s office Friday, March 28. A rally planned for 7 p.m. today at the Souris Hospital has been postponed.