OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas led dozens of leaders and activists from the union’s Executive Board and Hospital Professionals Division to Queen’s Park on March 5 to deliver a clear but urgent message: we need to stop the Ford government’s health care mega-mergers and privatization before the chaos of reorganization hurts patients.
“Doug Ford’s government is a chaotic disaster, and we’re not going to just stand by and let Ford drag our province and our health care system down with him,” said Thomas. “MPPs need to understand that public health care is near and dear to the hearts of Ontarians — the government will pay a heavy political price if they keep centralizing and privatizing it.”
The OPSEU leaders and hospital professionals — including First Vice-President / Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, Regional Vice-President and Hospital Professionals Division chair Sara Labelle, Regional Vice-President Len Elliott, and Executive Board Members Ed Arvelin, Drew Finucane, Kingsley Kwok,and Philip Shearer — met with more than 35 MPPs over the course of the lobby day, demanding that they stop Ford’s and Health Minister Christine Elliott’s massive health care restructuring Bill 74 from becoming law.
“Other provinces have tried these kinds of centralization and privatization schemes and they’ve all led to fewer services, longer wait times, and higher costs,” said Almeida. “As a treasurer, I know how important it is to look at the actual numbers. The only number Ford and Elliott are looking at is the number of friends and donors they can enrich.”
“If this government doesn’t change course, they will be putting people’s lives at stake,” said Labelle. “People and families will suffer while a few of Ford’s cronies laugh all the way to the bank.”