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Stop the cuts! – referendum launched

Posted: April 27, 2016

(April 27, 2016)

By: Ryan Veldhuis, North Bay Now

Some people have decided enough is enough with hospital cuts in Ontario are are taking provincial-wide action to make their voices heard.

Ontario Health Coalition Organizer, Mike Bisaillon said locally the cuts have been too deep and something needs to change.

“We’re having a referendum on trying to restore funding for the hospitals and to stop the cuts that are going on,” he told; “in North Bay over the last three years, we’ve had over 354 full-time staff cut from the hospital as well as over 60 beds.”

He said more cuts have been announced for 2016 and believed more would certainly follow.

OPSEU and the Ontario Health Coalition have launched their survey on public health care Monday, including here in North Bay. He says North Bay has been hit particularly hard by the cuts relative to the rest of the province and as a result is asking people in town to take to the ballot box.

“We are going to have ballot boxes across the community,” he said. “We will hold the integrity of the vote but what we want is everybody’s voice to be heard.”

Bisaillon said there are many issues related to using a public/private partnership – which is what the North Bay Regional Health Centre used to be created.

“You can replace the word private with profit,” he said. “I think there is a real problem making a profit off the suffering of others. When you have a private company that needs to make a profit it adds to the financial burden, which I think is part of the problem. We had a demonstration last November at Lee Park and received about a thousand people show up which showed the engagement. We had people ask what the next step is so here it is. I think North Bay has been hit particularly hard as well. We’re trying ti put pressure on the government now.”

“We think there are certain priorities in the government that are missing the boat with health care one of the things we’ll say about health care as well it cuts across all partisan lines. At the end of the day when you’re sick it won’t matter what political stripe you hold or what your age or economic demographic is you just want your loved ones taken care of.

He said the polling stations would be open until May 28, at which point the ballots would be brought to Queen’s Park to demonstrate the vote of the people.

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