With Referendum Day on Health Care funding Cuts coming to a close, members of the Sault and Area Health Coalition (SAHC) gathered at OPSEU offices on Great Northern Road to begin the count on Saturday, May 28th, 2016. Voting closed at 4:00 pm.
The OPSEU offices were a hub of activity as the long road to the final count was a journey still underway.
Former MP Tony Martin arrived at the OPSEU offices with son Scott to begin the role of Scrutineer. He and Ron Schinners were both in the position of scrutineer as boxes arrived for tabulating referendum votes.
SaultOnline has reported extensively on the Provincial wide Referendum, one that was “driven by ongoing and systemic cuts to Ontario’s health care funding, specifically to hospitals.”
“Ontario has dropped to last place in Canada in hospital funding. We are now in the ninth year of real-dollar cuts to global hospital budgets. Patients are paying the price; they are being left on stretchers in hallways, surgeries are being cancelled, and vital health services are being privatized or subject to user fees.” said Margo Dale, SAHC Coalition Chair.
On Monday May 16th, City of Sault Ste. Marie Municipal Councillor (Ward 6) Joe Krmpotich shared information about the Referendum to Mayor and Council. Members of the local health coalition were at City Hall’s Council Chambers for the reading of the Referendum into Council minutes.
Members of Health Coalitions across the province mobilized volunteers and partners to set up supervised ballot boxes in organizations and businesses, clubs and legions in communities, rural and urban, big and small over the month of May. Saturday, May 28th was the final day to cast a vote.
On Tuesday, May 31st the provincial wide numbers will be announced via The Ontario Health Coalition, and local Health Coalitions. Stay tuned for updates. SaultOnline continues to follow the story.
The OHC represents over 400 member organizations, local health coalitions, including seniors groups, unions, health professionals and more. The mandate is to protect and improve the public health care system striving for universal health care, that is public, comprehensive, accessible, and portable.