On Monday I saw Ontario Health Coalition Director Natalie Mehra at a noon-hour rally on University Avenue. As far as rallies go it wasn’t a big one. About 50 people showed up to hold up signs urging motorists to honk for a new health accord. So many motorists did just that it became, at times, hard to hear each other speak.
Mobilizing people around the health accord is not the easiest sell. The health accord is a complex issue about planning, standards and funding. When you really strip it down, however, it’s really about the future of Medicare in this country.
I was recently asked by a gas station attendant about a button I was wearing with a red umbrella and the text “Canada Needs A New Health Accord.” With customers waiting behind me I had to explain in 30 seconds what it was about. That’s not so easy and made me think if I found this difficult, what about a 10-second sound bite?
March 31st we all were wondering if we just bit off more than we can chew.
Mehra has been circling the province in recent weeks working on five regional campaigns intended to pressure the government to back off on a plan to contract selected hospital services to private clinics. The campaigns are due to culminate this weekend in Windsor, London, Kitchener, Sudbury and Peterborough. Her enthusiasm has been infectious as she tells us of all the cards that have been collected to date.