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

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