OPSEU members from across the province joined the Ontario Health Coalition’s 5,000-strong rally for public health care on Oct. 23 at Queen’s Park in downtown Toronto.
“We’re here to tell Doug Ford: we don’t pick fights, but we don’t back down from them either,” said OPSEU First Vice-President / Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida during the rally. “We’re here to tell Ford: touch our public health care and you’ll get burned!”
Many of the OPSEU members signed their names to a banner that says: “We are the people,” before marching up University Avenue to Queen’s Park with thousands of other Ontarians demanding that the provincial government back off its plans to cut, freeze, and privatize health care.
“Ford keeps saying that he’s ‘for the people’,” said Almeida. “Well look at this crowd. We are the people. We’re here and we’re not going to let him cut our health care!”
Almeida and OPSEU members were joined at the rally by members of many other groups and unions, including the Council of Canadians, a variety of local health coalition chapters, and other unions like Unifor, CUPE, ONA and UFCW.
Other speakers during the rally included Ontario Health Coalition Executive Director Natalie Mehra, OFL President Chris Buckley, OPSEU Region 2 Regional Vice President Lucy Morton, OPSEU Region 3 Regional Vice President Sara Labelle, and OPSEU Region 7 Executive Board Member Ed Arvelin.