SDG/Cornwall Health Coalition co-chair Elaine MacDonald is seen during a rally held in front of SDSG MPP Nolan Quinn’s Second Street office in Cornwall on May 12. Thompson Goddard Photo

CORNWALL – Vehicles honked their horns in support of the SDG/Cornwall Health Coalition during a public rally in front of SDSG MP Nolan’s Second Street office in Cornwall on May 12. Louise Lanctot and Elaine MacDonald, co-chairs of the organization, provided information on Bill 60 and the need to protect our public hospitals and healthcare system.

Bill 60, passed in the Ontario legislature on Mon., May 8, will come into effect once Royal Assent is given and will allow surgery and diagnostic services covered by OHIP to be done in licensed health facilities and is designed to help reduce waiting times for diagnosis and procedures.

Tanis Brown, a registered nurse and SDSG NDP riding association president, mentioned legislation such as this may allow people with more money to have access to better health care, while other speakers commented there is a need to protect the public health system in Ontario and commented on the lack of family doctors available for people. “It’s not about the money, but we know it is about the money,” commented MacDonald, who continued how the type of care people will receive will be determined by the amount of money they can pay.

She mentioned an issue of this importance should have been an election issue in the last provincial election, but it was not. This has resulted in the Ontario Health Coalition organizing a citizens’ referendum which is planned for May 26 and 27 at polling stations across the province, including SDG with online voting already beginning.

After reading the question on the ballot, which is “Do you want our public hospital services to be privatized to for-profit hospitals and clinics?”, MacDonald commented “Let this be the biggest NO of your life!”

More information on the Ontario Health Coalition can be found at