April 29, 2019 4:21 pm

Health care protest expected to draw hundreds to Queen’s Park

The front entrance of Ontario's Legislative Building at Queen's Park.

Nick Westoll / File / Global News
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The Ontario Health Coalition says it’s ready to defend public and non-profit health care and is hoping to send a message to the Progressive Conservative government.

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Jeff Hanks with the London Health Coalition said roughly 150 buses from across the province, including two from London, will be heading to Queen’s Park on Tuesday to protest cuts to health care and the potential for privatization.

Hanks referenced changes to the province’s paramedic services, cuts to public health, and the merger of LHINs to create a Super Agency.

“There’s no question you can find efficiencies, but you need to talk to the people on the front lines,” Hanks argued.

“The Ontario Chamber of Commerce did a report, they want health care open for business. They want to use health care as a $52-billion driver of the Ontario economy and now people from that organization are on the health care board… It’s just like [Doug Ford] is handing it over to the private sector.”

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In a 2017 report, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) stated that it believes “the private sector has a role to play alongside a robust and sustainable public health care system” and that the health care system can become “an economic driver.”

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The two buses from London will leave from Masonville Mall at 8:30 Tuesday morning.

“They’re almost full but we’ll take anybody, we’ll figure out a way to get you down there if you want to go. Just call me at 226-448-3067,” said Hanks.

“I’m just begging people, everyone in Ontario needs to stand up and say no to this because we know what American-style health care is like: the rich get to go to the front of the line and the rest of us wait.”

Premier Doug Ford has previously stated that changes to healthcare in Ontario will result in management-level job losses but that front-line jobs would be protected.

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