Save Welland hospital, fight for quality public medicare!

Action #1

GET ON THE BUS! 
Attend Mass Rally on November 21

This is the fight for real democracy. Workers democracy.
Private health care is not a care but a business, that benefits the very few at the account of the very many. Having quality public health care (or not) is literally a matter of life and death.

Bus Registration for SAVE COMMUNITY HOSPITALS Rally

Thousands of people are planning to take a stand on Friday November 21 at the Ontario Legislature to demand a stop to the devastating 
 cuts to our local community hospitals and the privatization of vital care services. In addition to the thousands coming from the Toronto area, buses will travel in from communities all across southern Ontario and as far north as Sudbury, North Bay and possibly even New Liskeard. We are so pleased that so many of you are working hard to save our local public hospitals and the services they provide for all of us. Your efforts really will help to make a difference.

We need to know where the buses are coming from
We will assign each bus a number so that people can easily find their communities' buses and get home efficiently and safely. It is imperative that you register your bus so we can send you information about where to offload passengers, where to park, how to let everyone know your bus number, and where and what time the bus should pick everyone up to go home etc. Please register your bus as soon as possible. If you need information, please contact us as soon as you can at ohc@sympatico.ca or 416-441-2502. You can print the rally poster from the attachment or you can find it on our website at www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca . The bus registration form is immediately below the rally information here. Please fill it in and send it back to ohc@sympatico.ca
 
Bus Registration Form
Please fill in this form and return it to us at ohc@sympatico.ca as soon as possible.

Name:
Organization (if applicable):
Town/City:
Number of Buses:
Key Contact Person Name (if different than above):
Key Contact Person Phone Number (daytime):             (evening):          (mobile):
Key Contact Person Email:
Can we publicize a phone number for people to call or an email address for people to email to reserve seats on the bus? If yes, what phone number/email address?:
Where is your bus leaving from and what time? 

Once we receive your bus registration we will send you a bus number and information. Please do not hesitate to call or email us if you have any questions. Thank you!
 

Labour Union Representative needed for the Regional Economic Development Advisory Panel

This Advisory Panel provides local perspective, guidance and expert strategic advisement in the
operation of Niagara Region’s new economic development function. Panel advisors should have previous advisory experience and bring a region-wide vision to create a balanced focus on improving our economic future.

Union members interested in representing labour on the Advisory Panel should e-mail nrlc.clc@gmail.com.

Thank you for your support!

With your help the following candidates were elected:


Councillors
Steve D. Berry Ward 1 Grimsby
Barb Butters Ward 4 Port Colborne
Jennie Stevens Ward 1 St. Catharines
Carlos Garcia Ward 6 St. Catharines
Bruce Williamson Ward 6 St. Catharines
Shawn Wilson Thorold
Mary Ann Grimaldi Ward 1 Welland
Rocky Letourneau Ward 5 Welland
English Public Trustees
Jennifer Ajandi Niagara on The Lake/St.Catharines
Catholic School Trustees
Frank Fera Niagara Falls
Pat Vernal Thorold, Merriton, St. Catharines
Paul Mc Neil Grimsby

We expect that these elected officials will provide crucial leadership on their respective public bodies over the next four years.

(click here for the list of the NRLC endorsed candidates)

The most aggressive plan ever to dismantle community hospitals is underway

Ontario's government is forging ahead with the most aggressive plan ever to systematically strip local community hospitals of services and cut or privatize them. They are already closing down outpatient services: physiotherapy, labs, pain clinics, fertility clinics and so on. They are planning to cut as many surgeries and diagnostic tests from local public hospitals as possible and contract them out to regional private clinics. Draconian cuts to chronic care (complex continuing care) beds are planned -- in some areas, the government is planning to cut 50% of the remaining beds. (Note: Ontario already has the fewest hospital beds left of any province in Canada, having undergone two decades of cuts.)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxQlQmimOsYSdExPZWptWG43a0k/view?usp=sharing

Patients are faced with driving further for care as it is taken out of local hospitals and centralized into one factory-like private clinic per region. Small community and rural towns will be hit hardest, but even large cities will be impacted as care is concentrated in fewer locations and patients face growing user fees. Local hospitals have been told to shrink the scope of the services they provide and specialize in only a few things. Patients will have to drive from site to site to get care.

Costs for patients are going up. User fees and co-payments are required for virtually every service moved out of our public hospitals. Private clinics are charging user fees in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars in violation of the Canada Health Act and the principles of Public Medicare in Canada. 

Without any exaggeration, the community hospital that we have all fundraised and volunteered for --  the local hospital with a range of needed services close to home -- will not exist anymore if we don't stop this. Single-tier public health care without user fees and extra-billing will be destroyed because community care is subject to private ownership, harsh rationing of access to publicly-funded care, and almost all private clinics extra-bill patients. Public community ownership and governance over vital surgeries, tests, procedures will be gone.

It is under the radar -- even most politicians don't realize the extent of the plans

Even most politicians do not realize the full extent of the radical plan to dismantle our community hospitals. A group of highly-paid elites based in Toronto and the province's largest cities are leading the policy advice on this, and public interest voices are being totally cut out. The dedication of regular Ontarians to building and funding our local community hospitals is considered emotional and is disparaged by these policy advisors. No actual evidence regarding new costs for monitoring, oversight, enforcement and profiteering have ever been revealed if they have even been assessed, and the high costs of user fees and extra-billing to patients has been virtually ignored by officials in the Health Minister's office. As we have seen for decades, these cuts and privatization will not save money -- at least not for patients -- but they will fragment care, worsen access, and lead to wholesale privatization and two-tier health care.

It is time to draw a line in the sand.


STOP private clinics
SAVE our local public hospitals
OUR RESPONSE MUST MATCH THE THREAT

For more information, please contact Sue Hotte : suehotte@yahoo.ca


Our response must be equal to the size of the threat. It is time that we stand up and make ourselves heard, before it is too late. Regular Ontarians from every walk of life -- local businesses, seniors, care workers, health professionals, students, all of us who care about equal access to health care based on need not wealth -- we all have a vital interest in saving our community hospitals. 

We are calling for our biggest demonstration ever. We are asking everyone to take one day to lend your voice to protect vital services that everyone in our communities need.

Over the spring and summer, we gathered more than 90,000 votes to stop the cuts to public hospitals and the plans for private clinics. So far, no contracts have been issued and the Toronto Star recently exposed horrific stories of damage to patients' health as a result of poor infection control and poor quality of care practices in private clinics.

We have a window of opportunity to stop the private clinics and force the government to deal with the fact that the public does not want a model of fragmented, privatized, inequitable and poor quality regional hospital care. This is a key issue in virtually every community. We need to get the word out and ask people to take a stand now.

Buses will be organized from communities across Southern and Mid-Ontario as far north as Sudbury and North Bay.

ACTIVIST DINNER AWARDS NIGHT


Dear Sister/Brother,
On Thursday, November 20, the Niagara Regional Labour Council is holding its fifth annual Activist Dinner awards night (see the preliminary agenda here).
Willodell Golf Course  
1035 Willodell Road
Niagara Falls
The Activist Dinner is an opportunity to join with labour activists from Niagara to celebrate the work of deserving individuals from the labour movement. Four awards will be presented at the Dinner:
• The Health and Safety Activist Award, sponsored by the Workers Health and Safety Centre.
• The Occupational Disease Response Team Activist Award, sponsored by the Ontario   Federation of Labour.
• The Eric Blair Social Activist Award sponsored by the Niagara Regional Labour Council.
. The Peter Kormos Political Activist Award, sponsored by the Niagara Regional Labour Council.
Nomination forms for the above awards are attached. The Executive of any local union affiliated with the Niagara Regional Labour Council can submit nominations. The deadline for receipt of nominations is Friday, November 7, 2014.
Ticket/Table Reservation forms are also attached.  Tickets are $ 30.00 each. The deadline for receipt of reservation forms is Friday, November 14, 2014.