Letter: Open Letter to Fellow Residents of Sault Ste. Marie and Area

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I wonder how many of us are aware of the Ontario government’s intent to drastically overhaul our healthcare services.

Ontario is one of Canada’s richest provinces but Ontario’s health care spending is already well below the Canadian average. What are the impending consequences of cutting that funding even more?

On November 12 the media announced the opening of a new volunteer-driven campaign office at 24 Queen St. E. A quick visit to this site offers much information about the government’s intended cuts to hospitals, public health care units, long-term care facilities and ambulance services across our province.

The Ford government intends to cut funding for and eliminate 25 out of 35 local public health units across Ontario. The Algoma Health Unit is designated to be grouped with other northeastern health units, as well as Muskoka, into a very huge area.  How that will affect our local public health programs has not been revealed.

The Ontario government intends to eliminate 49 out of 59 local paramedic and ambulance services, and eliminate 12 of 22 local dispatch units. Having our community belong to one of ten giant dispatch regions will likely make it a lesser priority and risk our service level.

The Ford government will impose more real-dollar cuts to public hospital funding, even though Ontario has the fewest hospital beds left per person of any province in Canada. Ontario has a crisis of hospital overcrowding, to which many people who have needed hospital care can attest. More funding cuts will result in more cuts to services and staff and even longer wait times. Ultimately we know that this can lead to more privatization and, sadly, higher death rates.

The latest Ontario budget indicates that the government will make real-dollar cuts to long-term care homes. We know that long-term care homes need more funding, not less. Without adequate funding, staffing levels are not sufficient to provide the necessary daily hands-on care that residents require. We are all aware that very grave issues of neglect and violence have occurred in some facilities across the province. In Sault Ste. Marie we have had several long-term care homes closed to new admissions due to serious non-compliance with requirements under the Long Term Care Homes Act.

If you are concerned with the coming changes to Ontario’s health care you can find out more at the local fight back campaign office. The local campaign will culminate in a public event on Saturday, November 30 at noon at the George Leach Centre. The Ontario Health Coalition will sponsor the event. The message to the Ford government is that we need our local public health services expanded not cut.

Marie DellaVedova

9 COMMENTS

  1. Ford is simply doing what the voters elected him to do….get the fiscal house in order. If voters did not agree with cuts they would have voted Wynne and her Liberals back in. You get what you wanted when you vote.

    • Doug Ford got 40.50% of the popular vote. He got in because people wanted a change. My husband recently went to Life Labs for blood work and it cost him 137.00 dollars. He was told the tests were free but the Ford government changed it. Ford isn’t making cuts in the right areas.

    • No one elected him to make huge cuts in the health care system and if you did than i hope you dont have to use the system. In the sault it is already hard enough to find the people you need.

  2. Harper 2.0….and those of us who were in health care then know what a disaster Harper 1.0 was. It is disgusting that one of the wealthier provinces in Canada has the worst health care system….and that is now! What will it be after the cuts??? The Northern Ontario Conservative MPP’s are strangely quiet about how we will be affected as compared to Southern Ontario.

    • Really shows your disconnect – the worst of the cuts came during the Peterson, Rae & McGuinty reigns followed by disgustingly inefficient and ineffective spending by Wynne.
      Why are you trying to force a square peg in a round hole with your Harper comparison? He was PM during one of history’s (and Canada’s) worst economic melt down and Canada fared pretty well. In comparison between McGuinty & Wynne Ontario went from a have to a have-not province relying on federal equalization payments that Trudeau then began to make dependent on following in line with his party goose stepping.
      Unless the population base, tax base and overall GDP on the north at least meets that of the south then you can’t expect the north to get the same attention. The north comprises 5% of the tax base and receives far far above that in funding from the province. Even the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund wouldn’t exist without relying on the tax revenue from the south.

  3. Our long term care homes are in crisis Mr. Ford. Please show we the people your compassionate side for our older adults living in these homes. And you homes- you know who you are! Ya the ones who are raping and pillaging our older population! May God have mercy on your souls.

    • So why are we not holding McGuinty & Wynne accountable? Scandal after scandal and even illegal conduct like erasing & destroying hard drives without legal authorization. Billions wasted.
      The same people who whined about their insane overspending and throwing us into an economic disaster are now whining about the cuts happening as a result.
      Likely what’s going to happen is people will tire of Ford, then elect a Liberal government in retaliation which will cause the same economic crisis just to then tire of that and elect Ford 2.0. Lather, rinse, repeat and yet no one learns.

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