Protecting our health care system

Today is the first day of a crucial court battle. The Council of Canadians joined others on the steps of the BC Supreme Court in downtown Vancouver in protesting Dr. Brian Day’s attempt at dismantling universal medicare in Canada. Others included the BC Health Coalition and Canadian Doctors for Medicare (intervenors in the court case), CUPE and the Raging Grannies.


Raging Grannies singing in support of public health care.

Raging Grannies singing in support of public health care.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Protecting our health care system

Stop Dr. Profit! Public Healthcare Under Threat

When: Tuesday, Sept. 6th at 9:00 am

Where: BC Supreme Courts, Vancouver

Corner of Nelson & Hornby (meeting point)

Pack the courts, defend public healthcare!

Dr. Brian Day will be attempting to help dismantle the public healthcare system at the BC Supreme Court with a constitutional challenge aimed at allowing for-profit delivery of medically necessary services. Dr. Day, better known as Dr. Profit, will be making his case starting September 6th. We are asking people to join us to defend the principles of universal, accessible and publicly funded health services that support all members of our community, not only those who can afford to pay for-profit fees.

Dr. Day owns the Cambie Surgery Centre in Vancouver, a for-profit clinic. The applications to the court claims that government regulations that place limitations on private for-profit medical services are in violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A court decision supporting the claim could open the doors to privatized healthcare system with private insurance companies and market based pricing for medical services. Many people are familiar with this model burdening residents in the US with $10,000-20,000 for annual insurance or in some cases for single procedures.

Wait times are increased in the public system by for-profit clinics as doctors and other resources are encouraged to work outside the public system. Ultimately this puts pressure on privatizing the public system that is the envy of those living in the US with only a private option. Let’s not let it happen.

Greed, being the primary motivation of for-profit clinics, leads to reduced safety, poorer quality of care and the “cherry-picking” of patients with low risk conditions or with high incomes. Meanwhile an audit conducted by the BC Government in 2012 found that in one month Dr. Day’s clinic had illegally billed patients for nearly $500,000. We can only imagine what else these clinics will do to maximize their bottom line.

The priority of healthcare providers should be people’s health, and providing services to everyone. The priority should not be to profit, as is the case with Dr. Day’s clinic. Join us outside the BC Supreme Court and inside the hearing to show your support for public healthcare and help us STOP DR. PROFIT!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Stop Dr. Profit! Public Healthcare Under Threat

Remembering Mel Hurtig

Mel Hurtig loved this country more than anyone I ever met. He founded the Council of Canadians along with many dedicated Canadians to fight for a better Canada and a better world. We mourn his passing. — Maude Barlow

Photo: Council of Canadians founder, Mel Hurtig, and National Chairperson,
Maude Barlow.

I’m writing you with a heavy heart. On August 3rd, our friend and mentor, Mel Hurtig, passed away peacefully at the age of 84.

Mel founded the Council of Canadians, along with many dedicated Canadians, to fight for a better Canada and a better world. Thirty-one years later, his values and vision still resonate throughout the important work of the Council of Canadians.

Mel’s family issued this lovely statement:

Canadians knew dad as our country’s consummate patriot. He was a bookseller, publisher, and a politician, an author and an activist. In every chapter of his life, dad’s cause was Canada and his commitment was unconditional.

Dad’s love of country was exceeded only by his devotion to his family and friends. To us, he was an extraordinary father; to so many others, he was an irreplaceable companion, colleague, and compatriot.

We will share our plans to celebrate dad’s life in due course. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Council of Canadians – or to the political party of your choice.

Barbara, Jane, Gillian, and Leslie Hurtig

An online memorial page has been set up where you can make a donation to celebrate Mel’s life and legacy. You can also add your personal condolences, which we will send to his family.

You can also call the Council of Canadians at 1-800-387-7177, or mail in your gift and condolences to 300-251 Bank Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 1X3.

Mel not only started this amazing organization, he has left a legacy that continues to inspire the fight for a better Canada.

Please join me in remembering and celebrating our friend, Mel Hurtig.

With thanks and hope,

Maude Barlow
National Chairperson

Donate now

The Council of Canadians does not accept corporate donations or government funding. We are an independent citizens’ advocacy group. That means we rely of the generosity of individuals like you to bring about the better Canada we know is possible.

Other ways to donate:

Prefer to donate by phone?
Call us toll-free at 1-800-387-7177 (Monday-Friday, 9-5 ET)

Prefer to donate by mail?
Send your cheque payable to “The Council of Canadians”:
The Council of Canadians
300-251 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON, K2P 1X3

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Remembering Mel Hurtig

AGM and annual BBQ

On Saturday June 25th the Chapter held our AGM and annual BBQ. Edith
Machattie from the BC Health Coalition talked to us about a number of
threats to our Medicare system, including the Brian Day private clinics
legal case, which if it succeeds could end our public health care system as
we know it. More information about this case can be found at:

Information about positive public solutions to long surgical wait times in
our medical system can be found at: 

More about the BC Health Coalition and the work being done to defend and
expand medicare can be found at

Edith Machattie, centre in red, speaks at chapter AGM

Edith Machattie, centre right, speaks to chapter members at AGM

2016 06 25 AGM_02

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on AGM and annual BBQ

Break Free from Fossil Fuels event: Action against Kinder Morgan in Burnaby

A number of COC members participated in today’s Break Free event. For more
amazing photos, including the kayak flotilla, go to the Greenpeace site at Thanks!

Penny Tilby

Break Free event -1

Break Free event -2

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Break Free from Fossil Fuels event: Action against Kinder Morgan in Burnaby