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Bill 60 is key legislation that should require a province-wide referendum


Ontario passes health-reform bill that expands private delivery of care, May 8

With the passage by the Ford government of Bill 60, Your Health Act, Ontario voters should be concerned and alarmed. It is not “our” health act at all: far from it. The door has been opened for the Americanization of our health care system: privatization for profit, not for people.

The Ford government’s hospitalization privatization plan is a “take away” from our local community public hospitals, especially rural. Because of consistent underfunding — estimated at $1.25 billion — we are now seeing the closures of ERs and under use surgery rooms across Ontario. Wait times are of course longer, and our caring heath staff are overworked, tired and burned out. Many are leaving.

It is shocking most people don’t seem to care that our cherished health care system is under attack: it is indeed bleeding. It is unfortunate voters in Ontario don’t seem to realize this government had the support of only 18 per cent of eligible voters in last June’s election. It begs the question of legitimacy and honesty since 82 per cent of eligible voters did not support this government.

The scope of this privatization policy was not mentioned in the run up to last June’s election. If the Ford government was forthright, they would follow the lead of the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) which is now holding a province-wide citizen referendum this month with a simple straightforward question: “Do you want our public hospital services to be privatized to for-profit hospitals and clinics? Yes or no.

This should not be a partisan issue: it is too important. I ask Premer Ford to do the right and honourable thing: delay the implementation of this U.S.-style health care takeover and hold your own provincial referendum. Let 100 per cent of Ontarians have a say about this major health care shift.

Patrick J Mullin, Owen Sound

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