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RELEASE: Health Coalition Announces Major Campaign in Response to Hospital Supervisor’s Refusal to Compromise

Posted: August 26, 2008

(August 26, 2008)

Midland – No matter how Dr. Kevin Smith – provincially appointed supervisor for Huronia District Hospital- wants to dress it up, he is still recommending the elimination of the voting rights of 2400 community members and the 100 year history of democratic hospital governance, said the Southern Georgian Bay Health Coalition in response to Smith’s failure to compromise on his proposal for an appointed board.

« This is not a compromise. It is window dressing on his original proposal. The addition of community advisors is not an acceptable alternative to a democratically-elected board. The issue is that the people of this community have a right to become members of our local hospital and vote on their representation in running the hospital. Dr. Smith has a personal belief that we are not capable of selecting skilled individuals to run the hospital. We find this insulting and unacceptable, » said Vern Edwards, co-chair of the Southern Georgian Bay Health Coalition.

« We are taking this very seriously. It would be indefensible for the McGuinty government to wipe out democratic voting rights when all members of the government owe their positions to the democratic process, » said Natalie Mehra, Director of the Ontario Health Coalition. « We will be increasing pressure on the McGuinty government to reject the recommendation eliminating 2400 community members and the election of hospital board members. We are discussing the potential for another town hall meeting and are following up on our legal options. »

« We are launching a major campaign. This will include a petition blitz day on Saturday, Aug. 30, an advertising campaign and organizing buses to protest at Queen’s Park. The local coalition is also placing its petitions in locations throughout the community, » said Deb Mink, co-chair of the Southern Georgian Bay Health Coalition.

The Southern Georgian Bay Health Coalition is organizing locally for the province-wide protest to protect public health care. The protest will take place Saturday, Sept. 27. Many communities have concerns with what is happening to our hospitals. We will be organizing a local event then travelling to Toronto to join others in the area to take our concerns to Queens’ Park.

For the petition blitz day, the local coalition and its supporters will be meeting in front of the Galaxy Theatre at Mountainview Mall at 10 am this Saturday.

Petitions are available at :

Simcoe North MPP Garfield Dunlop’s Midland constituency office

Main Street Computers, Penetanguishene

Rye Cafe, 292 King St., Midland

Gianetto’s, King St., Midland

Duffy’s Riverside Shell, Hwy 12, Waubaushene

Pine Street Country Market, Waubaushene

For more information, call Vern Edwards at 705-538-0833, Deb Mink at 705-527-3828 or Natalie Mehra at 416-441-2502.

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