On April 30 at noon, people from across Ontario will converge on Queen’s Park to oppose new legislation that will result in unprecedented changes in the province’s health care system, including the privatization of public services.
According to the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC), the Ford government has exposed its intent to undertake the “most radical health care restructuring in our history.” Bill 74, legislation that would enact these sweeping changes, passed final reading in the Ontario Legislature late last week.
The OHC says the so-called “People’s Health Care Act” does not improve a single health care service. Instead, it creates a Super Agency that gives extraordinary restructuring powers to the government. This new law will allow restructuring for hospitals, long-term care, home care, community mental health and addictions, community care, cancer care, palliative care, labs, eHealth, air ambulance, community health centres, home care, non-profit primary care and more.
Bill 74 gives sweeping powers to the Ontario Health Minister and government appointees in the new Super Agency to force mergers, mega-mergers, amalgamations, transfers of services, closures of local services, and entire closures of service providers. The legislation allows the government and its appointees to transfer public and non-profit health care services to for-profit companies.
According to the OHC, “there is no fetter on these extraordinary powers and no public process. It takes away any last vestiges of local control over health care. They can close a hospital with the stroke of a pen, move a service to another town or close it entirely, order the privatization of all labs or all surgeries for example. It is truly shocking.”
Council of Canadians chapter members and supporters from Guelph, Hamilton, Peterborough, Ottawa, Toronto and other areas will be at Queen’s Park for the mass rally to say “No!” and to protect public health care from Doug Ford.
Busses to bring people to the rally are being organized in cities and communities across the province. Visit the OHC website to sign up for a bus near you.