Conservative Government Turn Their Backs on Ontarians by Voting in Bill 218

Thank you to Ottawa Centre MPP, Joel Harden, for putting his foot down about the Ford Government’s dishonest promotion of Bill 218. This bill is tailored to create barriers for families to hold long-term care providers accountable for the illness or death of their loved ones and cannot be accepted in this province.

The Ontario Health Coalition has filed a formal complaint to the integrity commissioner over Bill 218, asking it to look into donations made to the Ford government by the LTC industry. The OHC has also called for an investigation into any personal links between the government and the for-profit Long-Term Care industry.

Health Coalition Requests Integrity Commissioner Investigate Political Donations and High-Level Personnel Links Between For-Profit LTC Industry and Ford Gov’t Prior to Passage of Legal Liability Bill

Today, the Ontario Health Coalition submitted a complaint to the Integrity Commissioner to investigate political donations and high-level personnel links between the for-profit long-term care industry and key ministers & MPPs in the Ford Government prior to the passage of Bill 218, which indemnifies for-profit long-term care homes from liability for negligence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please find pasted below and attached the full text of our complaint to the Integrity Commissioner. 

The complaint was discussed in a press conference that was held this morning, which you can view a recording of here. We have been informed that Bill 218 may be moved up and may be debated for its Third (and final) Reading this afternoon. 

We have asked the Ford government to:

1. Extend the hearings so that the families of the deceased get a chance to be heard. Fifty-eight people applied for standing and only 15 were heard. PC MPPs hold a majority on Standing Committees and did not allow a second day of hearings to hear from all who applied.

2. Carve out long-term care homes and retirement homes from Bill 218. Using its majority, PC MPPs voted down amendments to that effect.

3. We are now asking MPPs with conflicts of interest to recuse themselves from the vote.

Thank you to everyone who has and continues to send letters to MPPs asking them to stop this Bill and amend it to exclude long-term care and retirement homes.

For a quick summary of the issue, RANKANDFILE.CA has published an excellent exposé of the extensive connections between the @OntarioPCParty and the for-profit LTC lobby:

Party of Profits: Ontario Tories and the profit motive in long-term care

Make Revera Public – Have your say

The pandemic has exposed grave problems with how we take care of our seniors. In particular, the dangers of the extensive presence in most provinces of private, for-profit owners operating long-term care homes.

The many tragedies resulting directly from private, for-profit homes — have led to calls on the federal and provincial governments to make long term care public.

The federal government, through the crown corporation Public Sector Pension Investment Board, is the sole owner of Revera Inc. – and therefore the owner of Canada’s second-largest chain of for-profit long-term care facilities. Join us in calling on the government to make Revera Inc. public. This will be the first step in bringing all privately-owned, for-profit long-term care facilities where they belong – into public ownership and operation.

A Virtual Townhall Meeting was held jointly with the Public Service Alliance of Canada on September 16th, 2020 at 7PM EST.

See the Ottawa Health Coalition’s public statement on Revera Inc. below. 

Time to Restore Sound Planning, Capacity, and Compassion in Our Public Health Care System.

Excerpt: The long trend of downsizing and rationing of our vital health care services must end. Our health care system was founded on principles of equity and compassion…. In Ottawa, like other communities across Ontario, health care providers, patients and their families are dealing with a health care system not living up to the promise of the Canada Health Act.”

Full Report:

Submission to the Provincial Pre-Budget Committee January 2020

Save the Services That save Us!

Stadium Rally in Ottawa
Saturday, December 7th @ 11 a.m.
TD Place Arena, Lansdowne Park

LET’S STAND TOGETHER AND INSIST THE FORD GOVERNMENT
EXPAND NOT CUT OUR LOCAL HEALTH SERVICES!
NO PRIVATIZATION!

Campaign Resources:

Click for Free Tickets and Ride OC Transpo to the Event

Free OC Transpo Service from 8 am to 4 pm with an event ticket. You can download and print or save to your smartphone.

Click Here to Volunteer

Click for Briefing Note

Click for Ottawa Poster Details

Click for Ottawa Poster (French)

 

 

The Doug Ford government intends to:

  • Cut funding for and eliminate 25 out of 35 local public health units across Ontario;
  • Eliminate 49 out of 59 local paramedic & ambulance services, and eliminate 12 of 22 local dispatch units;
  • Impose more real-dollar cuts to local hospitals,
  • Impose real-dollar cuts to long term care homes and cancel two special funds that provide support to long-term care homes.
  • We are also hearing about home care services being privatized in local communities and there are major cuts to care provision staff in the provincial agencies including the LHINs.

 

Facebook Event Page

Federal Election Forum

Sunday Oct.6,  2 PM, 233 Gilmour St. PSAC Building

What Federal action is needed for Long Term Care, Pharmacare
and for a healthy Environment?
During this Federal election we will be deciding on the future of public healthcare! 
————————————————————————————————-

 Please help us promote this event:

Click Here to Open Flyer en. & fr

Click Here for the Facebook event Page

Executive Summary: Final Report of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare

 

Why Canadians Should Oppose Dr. Brian Day: All Canadians Deserve the Health Care They Need Not Just What They Can Afford

You can help stop the dismantling of our public health care by sharing information with your friends on social media.

Save Canada’s Public Health Care

 

Oppose Dr. Brian Day Leaflet

 

 The people trying to end Canadian health care as we know it

 

YouTube:  –From 2014 Conference of the Ontario Health Coalition–

The Charter Challenge Against Public Medicare

Steven Shrybman LL.B ( 3:19 ) and Sean Meagher, (24:11 ) Canadian Doctors for Medicare discuss the legal context of the Charter challenge to the Canada Health Act being pursued by Dr. Brian Day and its potential consequences.

And the answer is: Stop Cutting Our Hospitals!

Release More than 94,000 Ontarians Join in Grassroots Referendum to Stop Devastating Hospital Cuts

Posted: May 31, 2016

(May 31, 2016)

Massive Piles of Votes delivered to Opposition Party Leaders Outside Ontario Legislature

 

Toronto – From across Ontario representatives from dozens of communities facing devastating cuts to their community hospitals carted thousands of ballots to the Ontario Legislature. The votes – 93,840 of them as of last night – were cast in a province-wide voluntary “referendum” on Saturday May 28 and in lead-in advance polls held in the last two weeks. Since last night the coalition has received hundreds more votes, putting the total over 94,000. Hundreds of votes continue to be sent in to the coalition every few hours. To put the size of the vote in perspective, a very large petition presented to the Legislature might have 20,000 signatures at most.

 

More than 40 communities took part in the referendum and more than 1,000 volunteers took to the streets on the weekend to staff voting stations outside grocery stores, corner stores, busy retailers, in Legions and churches and other high-traffic areas. In total, there were more than 1,000 voting stations, including advanced polls. Health Coalition volunteers collected oaths from those voting, asking people to swear that they are 16-years or older, the age of consent for health-care decisions, and that they would only vote once. People were asked to leave their postal code to help ensure the integrity of the vote wherever possible.

 

In more than 40 communities, volunteers set up voting stations and collected votes as part of the grassroots referendum, including:  Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Joseph Island, Timmins, Kapuskasing, North Bay, South River, Ottawa, Smiths Falls, Brockville, Kingston, Quinte West, Northumberland, Durham, Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough, Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara, Guelph, Orillia, Midland, Penetanguishene, Oxford County, London, St. Marys, Stratford, Seaforth, Chatham, Wallaceburg, Sarnia, Essex County, Windsor, and others.

 

Ontarians were asked to vote yes or no as to whether Ontario’s government should stop the cuts to community hospitals and restore services to meet the population need for care. More than 99.6% voted in favour of stopping the cuts. Everywhere, people expressed their gratitude to volunteers for holding the referendum and for doing something to stop the cuts in their communities.

 

The results as of last night (note: every few hours we are receiving hundreds more votes):

“Yes” or “No”:   Ontario’s government must stop the cuts to our community hospitals and restore services, funding and staff to meet our communities’ needs for care.

Yes –         93,501

No –               308

Spoiled –         31

Total –     93,840

 

The coalition is calling for Ontario’s government to restore public hospital funding to the average of the other provinces. By every reasonable measure, Ontario’s hospital funding is at or near the very bottom of all the provinces in Canada. The coalition is also calling for public hospital funding to go to care and vital support services.

 

“The huge turnout is representative of deeply-held values that cross all political line and all regions in our province,” reported Natalie Mehra, executive director. “The message we received was overwhelming. People are angry about their communities’ hospital cuts. In no uncertain terms, they want the services restored and they want to ensure that funding is adequate and it goes to care and support services, not executive tiers and consultants. They were happy to be able to vote on it.”

 

She concluded: “We were certain before, but having gone through this massive undertaking and having spoken with more than a hundred thousand Ontarians, we can say with more certainty than ever that our current provincial government fails to listen to the will of Ontarians at their peril. Ontarians urgently want to find a way to have their voices heard, to stop the cuts and bring back the services that they are losing in their local public hospitals.”

 

The coalition is asking the public for donations to help cover the costs of the volunteer-led referendum.

 

Background

Ontario’s hospital cuts are the deepest in the country, and despite claims by government, the services that are being dismantled in local public hospitals are not replaced in community care. In fact, many communities are losing vital services and across the province whole categories of services are being privatized. Without any sound capacity planning, hospital redevelopment decisions seem to be driven by political opportunism and divorced from service needs. Tens of millions are wasted in renovations and redevelopments, only to find services closing down within a few years. Planning, such as it is, bears no relation to community need anymore.

 

The cuts are devastating. Entire community hospitals are on the line. Services like birthing; emergency departments; medical and surgical beds; mental health units; chronic care beds; surgeries and diagnostic tests; and thousands of nurses, health professionals, caregivers, and vital patient support workers and all the work they do — all of these are threatened with cuts in different communities.  In many communities hospitals are running at dangerous levels of overcrowding.

 

By every reasonable measure, Ontario has now dropped to the bottom of the country in hospital services. We have the fewest hospital beds left – by far – of any province. Only Chile and Mexico in the entire developed world have fewer hospital beds than does Ontario. We have the least amount of nursing care per patient (both RN and RPN combined).  Patients are moved out of hospital earlier in Ontario than any other province – and we have the highest readmission rates as people end up back in emergency departments.  Charts showing government data on these measures and others can be found here: http://www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca/index.php/health-system-facts-trends/funding/


Every service that is being cut is privatized, moved out of town or lost entirely. Patients are now required to drive longer and longer distances for care, or are being charged hundreds or even thousands of dollars in private clinics for cataract surgeries, colonoscopies and other care than used to be provided – under OHIP – in our local public hospitals. People are waiting on stretchers, in the worst cases for days, for admission to hospitals that are filled to overcapacity.