Health care rally in Bannerman Park vies for premiers' attention
A national organization rallied in St. John's on Monday night with a message for Canada's premiers.
The Council of Canadians wants the provincial leaders to re-focus on health care.
Premiers are meeting in Labrador and St. John's this week to discuss the economy, climate change, aboriginal issues and health care.
Council of Canadians members got together in Bannerman Park, lighting heart-shaped lanterns to bring attention to their cause.
Spokesperson Michael Butler said the group has been fighting for change since the federal government eliminated the health care accord back in 2014.
"You can't just close your eyes and pretend the problem is going to go away," he told CBC News.
"You need to come together and come up with some real solutions that recognize the importance of health — from St. John's to Victoria, across this country."
Butler said more members of the group will be flying in from across Canada this week to attend more events that are planned to get the premiers' attention. The next event is scheduled for Wednesday.
Central to the council's concerns are cuts in federal funding to the provinces for health care.
Butler said changes to the program have seen Newfoundland and Labrador lose about $22 million in federal health care funds.
"We are on the precipice, it's not an exaggeration," he said.
"We felt that we had to step up and send a clear message to the premiers that it's time for real leadership, and it's time to act on our health care before it's too late."