The Haliburton Highlands Long-Term Care Coalition is planning to join provincial allies for a massive rally at Queen’s Park in September, but wants people to know the deadline for getting a seat on their rally bus is July 20.
Spokesperson Bonnie Roe said the Ontario Health Coalition and local coalitions such as theirs are “upping the ante” from a citizenled referendum in May.
During that poll, more than 400,000 Ontarians voted ‘no’ to health care privatization. In Haliburton County, there were 30 voting stations and 5,504 votes cast. Roe said only 104 people said ‘yes.’
However, she said the coalition’s work is not over, “as we need to stop the Ford government’s privatization of our local hospitals.”
The Ontario Health Coalition is planning a mass protest at noon on Sept. 20 during the opening day for the fall session of the Ontario Legislature.
“We will fill the lawn with Ontarians from across the province. We need to stand together and raise our voices to let our premier and MPP (Laurie Scott) understand that we are not going away,” she added.
To help with travel, Roe said they are renting a bus from Coach Canada with a washroom.
She asks members of the public to reserve their place on the bus by July 20 with a deposit of $20.
Roe said the cost of a full bus of 56 is $55 per person. A tip for the driver is optional. Some subsidies are available if needed.
She said they would leave at 8 a.m. from the Minden Community Centre and depart Queen’s Park at 2 p.m. People are encouraged to bring beverages, snacks and lunch as eating is not easily accessible.
“This will be a day to show the value of community engagement and democracy,” Roe said.
She added privatization is a reality across Ontario and will continue to close hospitals such as the Minden ER.
“This is our chance once again to represent Haliburton County on this crucial issue. Can we count on you to join us?” Contact Roe at email@example.com or 705-457-6579.