A group of about two dozen health care workers rallied outside the grand opening of premier Brian Gallant's new office on Charlotte Street in uptown Saint John, chanting and holding signs opposing privatization of health care services.
Lisa Allen is president of CUPE Local 1199 and the vice-president of CUPE 1252 and tells CHSJ News the Extra-Mural program, which it was announced is being managed by Medavie Health Services, is well-known across the country for the service that it is providing.
"If the system isn't broken, why would you change it?" asks Allen, who also spoke about the French multinational corporation Sodexo taking over management of hospital food, cleaning and patient transportation.
"The premier and all of his cabinet ministers have received our package from CUPE Local 1252 as to why this is a bad decision, Sodexo is well-known for having many issues, again, it's a for-profit company that's our tax dollars leaving the province."
Premier Brian Gallant, who did speak with the protestors upstairs in his new office, though we're told did not come through the front door where the CUPE members were rallying, tells CHSJ News every dollar they're trying to find is going back into the health system.
"I think unfortunately that doesn't necessarily get communicated to some of the people that have issues," Gallant says. "Now in regards to the specific issue they wanted to chat with me about, look, I understand we're not always going to agree but at the end of the day we, I think all want the same thing, is for health care to be there for New Brunswick families when they need it."