Townhall: Sticking Up for Public Health Care

Calling all advocates of public health care - health care workers, patients, seniors, researchers, and the public - to stick together for health care solutions, not privatization. 

Join us November 20, from 7:00-9:00 PM at SFU Harbour Centre. 


Our health care system is in crisis. We’re in urgent need of reform, innovation, and brave conversations about what the future must look like for public health care. We can’t afford to repeat failed privatization experiments when we need urgent fixes for our public system. 

Join us for an evening of learning and organizing, where we will examine the overwhelming evidence against growing the role of private for-profit providers. 

We will hear from health care providers and experts on the many possibilities for improving access and quality of health care within the public system. We’ll make a plan together to push back against the new wave of pro-privatization that is spreading across Canada. 

Click here to go to our event page and save your seat. 

We can’t afford to give up on our public system. It’s time to make our public system better and ensure it works for everyone. 

Meet our speakers! 

Lisa Akinyi May
Associate Director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives BC

Indigenous Elder
Tom Oleman
Elder, REACH Community Health Centre

Opening Speaker
Saad Ahmed
Board Member, Canadian Doctors for Medicare


Panel: The cost of profit-driven care

Nikolas Barry-Shaw
Campaigner - Trade and Privatization, Council of Canadians 

Dr. Lindsay Hedden
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University

Leslie Gaudette
President, Council of Senior Citizens Organizations of BC 


Panel: Public solutions that work

Dr. Kelvin Bei
Nurse Practitioner, RISE Community Health Centre

Dr. Rita McCracken
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia 

Additional speaker to be announced...

Here's a little more about our moderator and speakers: 

Lisa Akinyi May joined the CCPA-BC in January 2023. As Associate Director, she oversees the BC Office’s communications team and is a member of the management team. Lisa brings a wealth of experience in journalism, communications and research to the role. Her early career focused on telling the stories of the most vulnerable in society at the United Nations in her native Kenya and at one of Belgium’s leading broadcasters, VRT News. Prior to moving to Canada, she managed communications and grants at, a Brussels-based foundation that supports a global network of investigative journalists exposing money laundering, corruption and human rights abuses. She is passionate about promoting quality public interest research that contributes to social change.

Dr. Saad Ahmed is a family physician and board member for Canadian Doctors for Medicare. He is currently the medical director of homelessness, supported housing and complex care for Vancouver Coastal Health, previously having worked all across Northern Ontario as a fly-in physician. He is also a lecturer with the  University of Toronto's Department of Family and Community Medicine, with particular clinical and research interests in health equity.

Tom Oleman of Stlatlimx Nation is the Indigenous Elder in Residence at REACH Community Health Centre, where he offers private, one-to-one personal and cultural support for Indigenous community members dealing with grief, loss, isolation and more. Elder Tom has years of experience in providing a culturally safe environment and supporting Indigenous community members. He uses traditional Indigenous techniques such as Eagle fan, Drums, Sage, Cedar, and water to perform powerful cleansing ceremonies, and assists community members with their healing process. 

Dr. Lindsay Hedden is an Assistant Professor of Health Services Research working in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University, a Health Research BC Scholar, and the co-Principal Investigator of the Health Systems Research Lab. Dr. Hedden’s current projects address the rapid shift to the use of virtual care; measuring current and predicting future health system capacity and demand; and examining the effects of the increasing corporatization and privatization of primary care on equity, accessibility, and quality of care.

Leslie Gaudette is the President of the Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of British Columbia (COSCO) which advocates for policies to support healthy ageing in older adults based on the key determinants of health, including health care, housing, transportation, income security and elder abuse. A ‘retired’ epidemiologist focused on chronic disease control she has a strong interest in drug safety and pharmacare and serves on the Public Awareness Committee of the Canadian Medication Appropriateness and Deprescribing Network. 

Nikolas Barry-Shaw is a writer and researcher living in Montreal, and author of Paved with Good Intentions: Canada’s development NGOs from idealism to imperialism. He is the trade & privatization campaigner for the Council of Canadians.

Dr. Rita McCracken is a full-service family doctor and researcher living as an uninvited visitor on the unceded, traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia. She studies the family doctor shortage and how new primary care policies actually affect patient access. Her other research work studies the effects of medications prescribed by family doctors and how to alter those prescribing patterns.

Dr. Kelvin Bei is a seasoned nurse practitioner, doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and healthcare leader. He is a strong advocate for team-based primary care with over a decade of experience working in community health centres in rural and urban settings. His current practice is at RISE Community Health Centre, serving folks in the Joyce-Collingwood neighborhood. Kelvin wears many leadership hats, one of which is as the Vancouver & Coastal Regional Lead with the NP Provincial Initiatives Program.