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Health Coalition wants residents to go to the polls

Posted: April 25, 2016

(April 25, 2016)

By: Chris Dawson, Baytoday.ca

“I think there is also an issue with health services in the North and that we have to bring attention to it and our campaign is one way of doing that.”

It may not be election time but the North Bay chapter of the Ontario Health Coalition is asking North Bay area residents to go to the ballot box.

Starting today, the North Bay chapter is opening ballot boxes at the OPSEU Fraser Street office and looking for 10,000 to 20,000 residents to sign a ballot and vote by May 28th.

After that all the ballots will be delivered to Queen’s Park to support the Ontario Health Coalition’s provincial campaign with hopes that Ontario hospitals will have funding restored.

While this is a provincial initiative, OPSEU Region 6 Executive Board Member Mike Bisallion believes North Bay has been hit particularly hard.

“I think there is also an issue with health services in the North, and that we have to bring attention to it, and our campaign is one way of doing that,” said Bisallion.

“If you lose 354 positions and 60 beds in a hospital, I mean you don’ t have to be an administrator, you don’t have to be someone who is great with accounting sheets to know that that has a huge effect on the community and it has an effect on the citizens of this city.

“We are going to have ballot boxes across the community. We will hold the integrity of the vote but what we want is everybody’s voice to be heard and we believe there is a close correlation between the politics of health care and actual political leaders.”

Bisallion says the province has gone nine straight years with hospital cuts and it’s time to put a stop to it.

“We have lost over 80,000 nursing hours a year. How do you make up for that?  It’s impossible.”

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