Abandon public health care and education at our peril new study says

The Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) has produced a new research study examining the economics of public education, public health care and other social programs. The book demonstrates that these public programs are a net advantage to Canada's economy, and they give Canada a competitive advantage over the U.S. and other nations with less well developed social programs.

"We abandon public health care and public education at our peril," says AFL President Les Steel. "They give us a clear competitive advantage over our neighbour to the south."

For example, in health care, the book reveals that employer health costs are two to three times higher in the U.S. than Canada, even when including taxation levels. "Public health care lowers the cost of doing business, and that works to Canada's advantage," says Steel.

The results of the study will be presented at a seminar being hosted by the AFL for interested members of the public. The author of the study will provide a presentation of the study findings and the book will be officially released at that time. Social agencies, education groups and health care organizations have been invited.

Thursday May 23
10:00 am to 11:00 am
Salon "B", Howard Johnson Hotel, 10010 - 104 Street, Edmonton

The book, entitled "The Other Competitive Advantage: The Economic Case for Strong Social Programs", examines five areas: health care, education, retirement pensions, income security (EI, minimum wage and social assistance) and WCB. In each area it compares the economic costs and benefits of delivering these services publicly or privately.

Following the seminar, there will be a media availability. Copies of the book will be available at the event.

For more information contact:

Les Steel, President @ 780-483-3021(wk) 780-499-4135(cell)

Jason Foster, Director of Policy Analysis @ 780-483-3021(wk)

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