Ontario Health Coalition to stage citizen-led referendum on Bill 60
Posted: April 19, 2023
(April 18th, 2023)
By: Alex Last, CHCH
Coalitions across Ontario are seeking Ontarian’s opinions about the Ford government’s proposed changes to Ontario’s health system. The Ontario Health Coalition announced that it will stage a citizen-led referendum on Bill 60, hoping a heap of ballots will force the province to reverse its course on healthcare.
“Do you want our public hospital services to be privatized to for-profit hospitals and clinics?,” Niagara Health Coalition’s Sue Hotte was outside St. Catharines Hospital Tuesday morning announcing that voting will begin online on May 2. Then, towards the end of the month, two days of in-person submissions outside coffee shops, grocery stores, and other public spaces. Hotte also says that advanced voting will be available as well.
The Niagara Health Coalition says in-person voting will include roughly 40 different voting stations across the region.The province’s Bill 60 aims to expand procedures to private clinics, due to increased wait times at hospitals. Public service advocates say the Tories have underspent on the budget. Hamilton’s Coalition met at the Steelworkers Union Hall on Tuesday to also campaign for the upcoming vote as well as others in front of Queens Park.
The Ontario Health Coalition tells CHCH News it hopes the votes will lead to change saying, “People bring in the piles and piles and piles of ballots to the Ontario legislature and ask Mr. Ford to respond.” The Ontario Health Minister’s office echoed once again, “Premier Ford and Minister Jones have been clear, Ontarians will always access our healthcare system with their OHIP card, not their credit card.”
The Coalitions say they’ll announce the tallied votes on May 30.