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Thomas: health care super-agency board is a clear sign privatization is on the horizon

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas at Queen's Park.

Toronto – By loading the board of his new health care super-agency with bankers, corporate bosses, and not a single front-line worker, Doug Ford is sending a clear signal that more health care privatization is on the horizon, says OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

“Almost every single person on this board has spent their careers trying to maximize profits,” said Thomas. “And now they’ve been given the sweetest patronage plum on the tree: a chance to squeeze profits out of Ontarians who need health care.

“I can’t say I’m surprised. But I’m disgusted.”

Thomas points out that only five of the people on the 12-person board are women.

“This is how Ford marks International Women’s Day?” asks Thomas. “More than 70 per cent of the people who provide health care in this province are women. It speaks volumes that 60 per cent of the board members overseeing their work are men.”

Thomas said if the Premier was truly interested in improving health care in this province, he’d have started by consulting with the unions that represent front-line health care workers, and followed through by ensuring they had a meaningful voice in the system.

“I’ve always said that privatization is the ‘pay more, get less plan,’ and that’s exactly what we’re getting here,” said Thomas. “More fees, more costs, and more cuts, with less accountability, less local control, and less care.”

Thomas warns Ford’s backbench MPPs that they’ll pay the price for these changes during the next election.

“Ford is making exactly the same mistake with health care that he’s making with autism services,” said Thomas. “They’ll focus on reducing the waitlist and ‘increasing efficiency’ by cutting back on the care that everybody receives.

“OPSEU’s not going to stand for it, and neither are the people of Ontario.”

For more information:

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931