Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday May 10, 2016
Ontario Health Coalition holding unofficial referendum on healthcare funding
Healthcare workers and community activists are hoping an Ontario-wide unofficial referendum will raise awareness of the concerns they have about provincial funding.
The Ontario Health Coalition, a group of activists working to improve the public healthcare system, is launching their campaign in communities such as Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor, Sudbury and Guelph on Monday.
“The cuts have been severe in Ontario… we’re doing a referendum because this has pretty much happened by stealth or by talk of not enough resources to go around,” said Albert Dupuis, co-chair of the local Ottawa coalition organizing the campaign in that city.
The group will be distributing ballot boxes to businesses, workplaces and community centres across the province.
The unofficial referendum will ask people if they’re for or against the idea “Ontario’s government must stop the cuts to our community hospitals and restore services, funding and staff to meet our communities’ needs for care.”
The group says healthcare in Ontario has been under-funded for years and is below the Canadian per capita average by about $350 per person.
The Liberals ended a four-year hospital base funding freeze in its latest budget promising to spend $60 million on hospital budgets along with $75 million for palliative care and $130 million for cancer care, but the Ontario Health Coalition has said that isn’t enough.(Source: CBC News)