While the media have portrayed health care as one of the winners of the spring budget season, the reality is the 2.1 per cent average increase in health funding over the next three years will represent major restraint on services. Last summer the Auditor General of Ontario described the previous target of 3.6 per cent as “aggressive” in his pre-election report, suggesting it would lead to a choice between hospital deficits and cuts to services.
The situation is particularly clouded for hospitals, which not only face a zero base budget, but are contending with a new funding formula that could see them receive even less than they did last year.
The Ontario Health Coalition is holding a series of town hall forums across the province in May and June to talk about the impact of the budget on the delivery of public health care.
Confirmed speakers include economist Hugh Mackenzie (Hugh Mackenzie and Associates), Dennis Howlett (Coordinator of Canadians for Tax Fairness), Trish Hennesey (Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Income Inequality Project) and Natalie Mehra (Director, Ontario Health Coalition).
Speakers from OPSEU so far include Sara Labelle (Chair, Health Care Divisional Council), Sandi Blancher (Vice-Chair, Hospital Professionals Division) and Marlene Rivier (President of Local 479, Royal Ottawa Health Group and Chair of the Ottawa Health Coalition.)
Speakers will vary by location.
Tuesday, May 10 / 7 pm
Royal Canadian Legion A.C. McCallum Branch 479
5603 Spring St., Niagara Falls
Saturday, May 12 / 1 pm
St. Peter’s HARRRP, 705 Main St. E.
Monday, May 14 / 7 pm
Royal Canadian Legion (Polish) Branch 412
601 Wellington St. N.
Tuesday, May 15 / 7 pm
Northview Community Centre, Gymnasium
150 Beatrice St. E.
Wednesday, May 16 / 7 pm
King’s College, Labatt Hall 105
266 Epworth Ave.
Thursday, May 17 / 7 pm
Peterborough Public Library, Auditorium
345 Aylmer St. N.
Wednesday, May 23 / 7 pm
Regiopolis – Notre Dame Catholic High School
Cafetorium, 130 Russell St.
Thursday, May 24 / 7 pm
Navy Veteran’s Club, 30-6th Street E.
Saturday, May 26 / 1 pm
Ottawa Public Library
120 Metcalfe St.
Monday, May 28 / 7 pm
Floyd Hembruff Civic Centre,
387 Highway 11
Sault Ste. Marie
Wednesday, May 30 / 7 pm
543 Trunk Rd.
Thursday, May 31 / 7 pm
Waverley Resource Library,
285 Red River Rd.
Saturday, June 2 / 1 pm
Best Western Lakeside Inn, Cascade Room
470 First Ave. S.
Tuesday, June 5 / 7 pm
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76
1553 Weller St.
Wednesday, June 6 / 7 pm
CAW 195/2458 Union Hall,
3400 Somme Ave.
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