By Rosalind Russell – The Ontario Health Coalition is holding a vote online or in person in communities across the North Shore in its fight against privatization of health care.
Coalition rep and Sault Ste. Marie District Labour Council president Michele McCleave-Kennedy says the vote is underway by a community lead referendum asking residents of Ontario to answer the question — Do you want to privatize public Health Care? Yes or No?
She says Bill 60 is expected to be read next week in the legislature and the referendum is to give citizens the opportunity to be heard.
She adds voting closes on May 27th with local voting stations being set up by May 9th in Sault Ste Marie, Prince Township, St Joseph Island, Bruce Mines and Blind River.
McCleave-Kennedy says online voting is now to open to Ontario residents 16 and over at: publichospitalvote.ca
She says when nurses and doctors are leaving the profession, it’s not time to further drain the public system by opening private clinics using covid as an excuse to reduce cancelled services.
“Here in Sault Ste Marie local health care professionals are speaking out about the lack of staff and funding to keep services running.
“Our hospital has the capacity to book more surgeries but there isn’t sufficient staff to care for patients or funds to pay to keep beds open. Due to funding and staffing constraints surgeries are being cancelled or rescheduled.”
She adds vote to keep public money in public hospitals.