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Referendum Shows Local Support for Public Health Care – 99.1 FM CKXS | Your Music Variety

Posted: June 1, 2023

(May 31, 2023)

By: 99.1 News

Local health care advocates are joining their counterparts across Ontario today, delivering results of a citizen-led referendum to Queen’s Park.

The Ontario Health Coalition held a two-day province-wide vote asking if residents are in favour of allowing public hospital services to be privatized to for-profit hospitals and clinics.

With 20 polling stations set up across Chatham-Kent, 2571 paper ballots were filled out last Friday and Saturday, with another 1003 votes cast online. Of those, 98% voted against privatization.

Chair of the Chatham-Kent Ontario Health Team, Shirley Roebuck says the work doesn’t end here.

“Just because we have this paper referendum on two days doesn’t mean we’re just all going to go home for the summer, we’re going to keep fighting, gathering more votes, making sure that Mr. Ford knows that so many people in Ontario want public health care in public hospitals.”

The referendum comes in response to the Ford government’s Bill 60, which would allow private clinics to offer OHIP-covered procedures, including cataract surgeries, hip and knee replacements, as well as MRIs and CT scans.

Roebuck says that while the Ontario Health Coalition didn’t reach its provincial goal of one million votes, the message to the government still comes across loud and clear.

“I think that if our elected officials ignore 400,000 votes (province-wide,) which translates into 400,000 voters, they don’t really want to be re-elected.”

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