On Saturday November 9, hundreds of Unifor members and retiree’s joined with coalition partners at the latest Ontario Health Coalition rally to protect public health care from Doug Ford’s reckless cuts to hospitals, long-term care, and ambulance services.
“Doug Ford says he’s for the people but he’s proved that he’s only for the rich people,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “They offer tax breaks to the wealthiest in our society, to rich corporations, and slap all sorts of cuts on us to pay for their gifts to the rich. This is an attack on our children and grandchildren.”
Dias spoke at the mass public rally to denounce the cuts by the Ford Conservatives. Dias took the opportunity to remind supporters that residents in nursing homes receive just six minutes of care each morning, and that we must keep fighting to make sure conditions are improved so we have better care and safer work.
“Doug Ford’s government has been a complete disaster for Ontario’s public services. All told, he has cut billions of dollars from sorely needed funding for vital social programs that help Ontario’s most vulnerable, the sick, children with autism, and our seniors,” said Katha Fortier, Assistant to National President Jerry Dias. “Ford’s cuts amount to a cut of more than $1,100 per person in Ontario on everything from hospitals and schools to vital social and public services including water and food safety, and even vaccinations.”
The government plans to cut funding for and eliminate 25 out of 35 local public health units ,49 out of 59 local paramedic & ambulance services, and eliminate 12 of 22 local dispatch units. They have also imposed real-dollar cuts to local hospitals, and impose real-dollar cuts to long-term care homes, including cancelling two special funds that contribute to resident’s well-being.
While the province is experiencing a severe shortage of personal support workers, Ford has also implemented public sector wage restraint legislation that will disproportionately affect women who work in health care and social services, earning very modest wages.
Unifor is monitoring leaked information that suggests home care services will be privatized in local communities and more major cuts are coming to care provision staff in the provincial agencies including the LHINs.
“What type of government would attack children with autism, cut $17 million from women’s programs, and then cut funding and give less care to the sick, to our seniors, and to the most vulnerable in our society?” asked Dias. “Doug Ford’s conservative government is attacking health care workers and patients alike and it’s up to us to put a stop to his conservative agenda.”
The November 9 day of action came as part of four regional actions across Ontario supported by labour unions and social partners working with the Ontario Health Coalition to fightback against the Ontario government’s health care cuts.
Unifor has launched the Stop Ford Cuts campaign in September to fightback against the government’s conservative agenda. The campaign calls for an end to the government’s slashing of public services and municipal spending, and instead invest in public services that lift up all workers and ensure a brighter future for all.
You can take action now and tell Premier Ford to stop his reckless cuts by visiting stopfordcuts.ca.