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Waterloo region against private for-profit health care

Posted: June 2, 2023

(June 1, 2023)

By: Cambridge Today

Waterloo Region Health Coalition says 99 per cent of local voters want to protect public healthcare and prevent private-for-profit hospital services and clinics

The results are in for Cambridge voters who took part in the province-wide, citizen-led referendum on healthcare last Friday and Saturday.

The Waterloo Region Health Coalition says 99 per cent of the 28,321 people who voted during an informal poll held by a local healthcare coalition on the weekend voted against private-for-profit health care. Only 267 local voters voted for it.

The province-wide referendum was a response to the provincial government’s efforts to increase private-for-profit hospital services and clinics.

The polls were run by volunteers and organized by the Ontario Health Coalition. Polling stations were located in shopping centres, community centres, parks, churches, drop-in centres, homes, and small businesses.

The referendum asked voters if they wanted public hospital services to be privatized and for-profit.

Based on the votes it seems voters are concerned about a move to private-for-profit health care, said a release from the Ontario Health Coalition.

The OHC said they delivered massive pile of ballots to the government Wednesday to represent the 400,000 Ontarians who voted.

An overwhelming 98 per cent of voters opposed to the privatization of Ontario’s public hospital services.

The total votes count was 386,068 with 341 spoiled votes, 7,001 yes votes and 378,726 no votes.

“We are unalterably opposed to the gutting and dismantling of our public hospitals and the privatization of them,” said Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition.

“This is the beginning of what will be a relentless campaign to stop them from privatizing our public hospitals. We have no choice because once we lose them, I don’t know how we will get them back. It will be very difficult if not impossible to get them back.”

“They can dismiss, make fun, and suppress the actual ability of the people to vote. We know they are worried about this. We have spoken to over a million Ontarians, person to person in this process. That is the power of this process. 1 in 29 Ontarians over the age of 16 voted in this referendum. Every Ontarian knows someone who voted in this. If they try to ignore this, we will ratchet it up. We will not stop until they stop.”

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