Steps for Life Community Sponsors: Change of plans in light of COVID-19

Given the situation with regard to the spread of COVID-19 across Canada, and the uncertainty over the coming weeks and months, it would be inappropriate to hold our traditional Steps for Life – Walking for Families of Workplace Tragedy events as community gatherings. Therefore, Threads of Life has made the decision to alter our Steps for Life plan to ensure the health and safety of all participants, volunteers and staff.

We will be encouraging all of our participants to hold their personal Steps for Life event/walk. Perhaps that means a solo walk in the woods, a ride on an exercise bike, doing yoga, or it may mean a small family or team get-together — provided you can maintain safe social distancing. We are excited to see all of the different ways our participants display their support. We will seek out additional ways to profile and recognize our community sponsors.

As a partner with Threads of Life, you are vital to our work.Our programs are available to our families at no cost and this is only possible through your generous support.Threads of Life continues to grow; we are currently providing our support programs to over 2,900 family members across the country. We hope you will continue to support the families of Threads of Life and our efforts to create awareness of prevention. However, if you are unable, and require a refund of your Steps for Life sponsorship contribution, please let me know.

On behalf of the families we serve, thank you for your ongoing support. Together we are achieving Threads of Life’s mission:

To help families heal through a community of support and to promote the elimination of life-altering workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths.


Dear OFL Members,

The OFL is proud to be joined in partnership by American Income Life (AIL) Canada in calling for applications
for the annual OFL/AIL Labour Post-Secondary Scholarships.

Two OFL members, or the children of members, will be selected from a pool of applicants to each receive a
scholarship in the amount of $2,500 to support them as they enter their first year of full-time post-secondary
study in September 2019. The scholarships will be awarded in honour of distinguished trade union activists who
have made a significant contribution to the life and growth of the labour movement in Ontario.

Eligible candidates must:
• Be a current member, or the child of a member, of a local union affiliated to the OFL;
• Be enrolled for September 2019 to enter their first year of full-time study (leading to a diploma or
certificate) at a public Ontario community college or the first year of an undergraduate program (leading
to a degree) at a publicly funded Ontario university;
• Not have any prior post-secondary studies; and
• Be currently enrolled or not more than two years out of secondary school.



The cuts to Legal Aid Clinics in Ontario has been devastating and the Association of Community Legal Aid Clinics has called for a province wide day of protest to be held on July 30th.

The Kinna aweya Legal Aid Clinic here in Thunder Bay is joining the action and is holding pop-up events at City Hall, Minnesota Park and Bay St. as well as a BBQ at their office on Cumberland St.

The Thunder Bay & District Injured Workers Support Group has decided to support this protest by holding a protest march and rally on Tuesday July 30th.

The protest march will begin at the OPSEU office at 326 Memorial Ave (beside the Merla Mae) at 1:00 pm this Tuesday July 30th and will proceed down Algoma St. to the Injured Workers memorial beside the Hoito restaurant for speeches and a rally in support of Kinna aweya and all Legal Aid Clinics in Ontario

We are asking everyone to come out to raise their voices in protest to these cuts to the Legal Aid Clinics that provide such valuable and necessary services to people struggling in their every day life.

Please come out and join us. If you are unable to join the march please try to make it to the Kinna aweya office BBQ at 85 S. Cumberland St. from 1 to 4 pm.

Thank you,

Jules Tupker

Poster – July 30, 2019 Legal Aid Clinic Protest March

Ontario Health Coalition Briefing Note on Ontario Cabinet Shuffle

In his press conference announcing the cabinet shuffle, Premier Doug Ford claimed
that more than 80 percent of his platform had been implemented. The Health Coalition notes
that nothing could be further than the truth when it comes to health care. The Coalition also
raised concerns about the pro-privatization, anti-public health care stance of Mr. Ford’s longterm care appointee and the ideological/religious position of his mental health appointee.


A serious note about protecting Medicare under Doug Ford

Dear friends and supporters,

We are making a video today. It shows the Ford Conservatives using their majority in the Legislative Committee on Social Policy to vote down amendments to the Ford government’s massive new health restructuring law. The amendments, under multiple sections of the Act, would prevent the Ford government from being able to use the extraordinary powers they have given themselves in the new legislation to privatize any health care service, close any local hospital or cut local services.

After the new law was introduced in the Legislature we asked the NDP and Liberals to support the amendments, drafted up sample language and worked with them to ensure the amendments were introduced within the almost-impossible timelines imposed by the Ford government, intent on slamming through the law with as little time for public scrutiny as possible. In every single section of the Act where the amendments were proposed, the Conservatives voted them down.

We ask the Official Opposition NDP to get the votes on film from the Legislature’s recording service. Our staff is editing them so everyone can see what is going on. We will release them next week so that the public can see what is really happening.

We are standing guard for public medicare; working not only to stop privatization (and now mega-mergers and a renewed round of cuts) but also to push for reform and improvements in the public interest.

In fact, the Ontario Health Coalition has been working flat-out as fast and as hard as we can to get out information of the cuts that are coming out every day, to build protest and to cast a spotlight on alternative approaches that would improve care, not dismantle and destroy it.

We have seen some success.Last fall we won $90 million and a reopening of 600 hospital beds in response to our mass rally against hospital cuts and privatization. We have saved dozens of hospitals, rehab, labs, ED, birthing mammography and continue to be a force that the Ford government is afraid to take on in defense of local services.

Though there is no question that the Ford government intends to try to privatize health care, we have forced them on the defensive. We have pushed media to question the Minister over and over about this, successfully. We have supported and built up the fight against the OHIP cuts and the government has now delayed moving forward for months. And we are working our hardest to set key issues to win improvements for the vulnerable and the ill.

Since January we have done a 31-town our to release our report on violence and insufficient care in long-term care garnering media in every tow; organised 6 pre-budget hearings rallies on the Ford plan for cuts to public services; organized the response to Bill 74 including recruiting more than 1,000 organizations to apply for standing at the public hearings; wrote analysis of the leaked documents and legislation, wrote model submissions; shared legal opinions; organized massive social media response and generated more than 7,000 emails to the Premier, Health Minister and local MPPs opposing the Bill. We have met with countless MPPs, municipal councillors, concerned citizens, seniors’ groups, physicians, nurses, health professionals unions and patients. We have held a mass rally of approximately 10,000 people to stop the OHIP cuts, and other health care cuts, closures, mega-mergers and privatization. We held a sticker day at hospitals and organized more than 100,000 nurses, health professionals and vital support staff to wear stickers telling the government not to privatize our health care, generating significant public awareness. We have kept up-to-date briefing notes and press advisories, and a “Cuts Tracker” revealing the Ford government’s cuts and analysing their new laws and policies. We released a budget analysis, have done literally hundreds of media stories and interviews and appeared live on CBC, CTV, CP24, and in newspapers and other media all across Ontario on the budget, the cuts, health restructuring and privatization. Our Facebook and Twitter go to thousands. Our emails go out to more than 100,000. Policy makers and media know our reach is wide, thanks to all of you, and they pay attention. We are proud that what we do matters and we hope you are too!

And now we need your help if you are able.

Our existence is based on donations from community groups and individuals. There is no other source of funding for the work that we do. If you support our work to preserve Medicare for all, can you help?

If you are able, could you please become a member of the Ontario Health Coalition? We have set our membership rates low so that membership is accessible to as many people as possible. Most people who are able, purchase a membership and add in a donation to help with the work we do on behalf of all of us. I have pasted the form below and also attached a printable version.

There are only two full-time staff at the Ontario Health Coalition. We use all the funds we raise to organize campaigns and community action to save services, stop privatization and ensure that needed health care is protected and improved for the people of Ontario. We are guided by the principles of equity and fairness in the Canada Health Act, and we strive to protect health care for all, regardless of income. And we truly make a difference.

We have won amendments to every piece of health care legislation in the last 15 years, in the public interest. We have repeatedly saved local services, stopped private clinics and privatization, improved care levels in long-term care, stopped competitive bidding in homecare, rolled back privatization in the P3 hospitals…and the list goes on and on.

We truly could not work harder or be more dedicated to the important job entrusted to us. But we need your help.

Thank you for taking the time to read this note. If you are able to help, we send our sincere gratitude and our commitment to you to do all we can to protect our most cherished social program in the face of a real and present threat. For all of you who already give monthly or donate annually, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We could not do it without you.

Warm Regards,

Natalie Mehra
Executive Director