Ontario Health Coalition to hold pre-budget hearing rally in Peterborough

The Ontario Health Coalition is holding a series of pre-budget hearing rallies across the province. Global News File

Peterborough will be among a number of sites for pre-budget hearing rallies hosted by the Ontario Health Coalition.

READ MORE: Thousands rally against health care cuts at Queen’s Park

The rallies will begin on Monday and run all week in five cities, coinciding with provincial pre-budget hearings featuring MPPs on the Standing Committees on Finance and Economic Affairs. The rally in Peterborough will be held on Jan. 28 at noon at the Holiday Inn on George St. N.

The Ontario Health Coalition says the province is planning to cut $22 billion in revenue for healthcare.

“At the same time as promising to end ‘hallway medicine’ and adequately fund healthcare in Ontario, Doug Ford’s government has pledged to cut $22 billion in provincial revenues through axing cap-and-trade and through tax giveaways that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy and corporations,” the Ontario Health Coalition stated in a release.

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“That’s $22 billion less for funding health care, education, transportation, social services, justice and so on. Cuts to health care, education, and social programs have already started.”

The coalition also claims Ford is negotiating contracts to “privatize hospitals and expand private clinics.”

Ford promised during the spring election to create 15,000 long-term care beds within five years, and 30,000 over the next 10 years to relieve pressure on hospitals. In September, Ontario’s health minister Christine Elliott said the province will address hospital overcrowding issues but any action must be done with an eye to fiscal restraint.

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“We are organizing rallies outside of the pre-budget hearings so residents of Ontario can stand up in resistance and solidarity to safeguard public health care,” the Coalition states. “Let’s send them a strong message.”

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The release states are rallies are co-sponsored by unions including CUPE Ontario, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, Ontario Federation of Labour, OPSEU and UNIFOR.

Other rallies (all noontime starts):

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  • Jan. 21 Dryden: Best Western Plus, 349 Government St.
  • Jan. 22 Timmins: Senator Hotel, 14 Mountjoy St. S.
  • Jan. 23 Ottawa: Courtyard Marriot, 350 Dalhousie St.
  • Jan. 24 Sarnia: Holiday Inn Point Edward, 1498 Venetian Blvd.
  • Jan. 25 Kitchener-Waterloo: Delta Hotel, 110 Erb St. W.

Next week, the Ontario Health Coalition will also be releasing “Situation Critical,” a new report examining the state of long-term care in Ontario.

With files from The Canadian Press