Health coalitions rally at Queen’s Park

Thousands rally against changes to Ontario's health care system. April 30, 2019 Photo courtesy of @AndreaHorwath Twitter.

A rally against changes to Ontario’s health care system, that some believe will open the door to privatization, attracted thousands of people to Queen’s Park Tuesday afternoon.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath addressed the crowd on behalf of the official opposition.

“Nobody in our province voted for more cuts to health care,” said Horwath. “Nobody in our province wants to see more people stuck in emergency rooms waiting for hours and hours on end. Nobody wants to see more people stuck in hallways without the dignity and privacy they deserve. Just imagine a fully funded healthcare system that is public, that actually makes sure that those things don’t happen anymore.”

Since passing Bill 74, the Doug Ford government has dissolved Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks, eHealth Ontario and Cancer Care Ontario. They’ve been replaced with a single oversight agency that will be known as Ontario Health.

Sarnia-Lambton Health Coalition President Shirley Roebuck raised concerns earlier this week that the changes could lead to privatization and the closure of rural hospitals — like CEE in Petrolia. She coordinated a bus for Sarnia-Lambton protesters to attend the rally, organized by the Ontario Health Coalition, in Toronto.

Health Minister Christine Elliott, however, said the protesters are misinformed and the government is committed to the public health-care system.