Media Advisory - April 29th: Thousands From Across the Province Descend on Queen's Park to Protest Local Hospital Cuts and Closures

    TORONTO, April 24 /CNW/ -

    Thousands of people from cities and towns across Ontario facing major
hospital cuts and closures will be joining in solidarity at a MASS RALLY at
Queen's Park on Wednesday, April 29th, to demand that the McGuinty government
protect local hospital services. The rally has been called by the Town of Fort
Erie, working in alliance with municipalities across Ontario. The Ontario
Health Coalition and local Health Coalitions across Ontario are supporting
this important endeavour.

    Wednesday, April 29th, 2009--11:30am

    Queen's Park, Toronto

    Consistent and intentional underfunding of hospital global budgets by the
McGuinty government is forcing cuts to hospital beds and services not seen
since the unprecedented Harris cuts of the mid-'90s.  Across the province,
mass layoffs are being announced; services are being privatized, cut and/or
centralized in hospitals far from patient's homes; emergency rooms are being
closed; and small and rural hospitals are under threat of closure.  Unless the
government improves funding, more than 70% of Ontario's hospitals will be
thrown into deficit this fiscal year and more extreme cuts will likely follow.
Hospital cuts place an increased burden on remaining hospitals and staff.  For
Ontario residents, this means longer waits, worse overcrowding, traveling
further, higher infection rates, paying out of pocket, and lower levels of

    At least 50 busloads of people from communities across Ontario and
residents of the Greater Toronto Area, all concerned about cuts to local
hospitals. Communities organizing buses include:

        St. Catharines:
        Buses leave St. Catharines at 9:30am from CAW Local 199 (124 Bunting
        Rd.), returning by 3pm. For more information, contact Sue at 905-
        932-1646 or Susan at

        Buses leave Strathroy at 8am from Food Basics at Kenwick Plaza
        (Front/Head Streets) returning by 5pm. For more information, contact
        Joyce at 519-245-3633 or Sandra at 519-245-8829.

        Buses will leave Wallaceburg at 7am SHARP from the Sobey's
        parking lot, returning by 5pm. For more information, contact Shirley
        at 519-677-4474.

        Buses leave Hamilton at 9:45am from Limeridge Mall: corner of Upper
        Wentworth St (across from the Legion Hall and near The Bay),
        returning by 3pm. For more information, contact Nancy at 905-385-

        Buses leave Welland at 9am from Welland Market Square and will be
        back by 3pm. For more information, call Fiona at 905-788-0756.

        Buses leave Sarnia at 7am from the north municipal parking lot at
        Centennial Park (across from Stokes By The Bay) For more information,
        contact Arlene at 519-542-1895. A $10 reservation fee is required.

        Buses leave Petrolia at 7:15am from the parking lot across from the
        VPP, returning by 5pm. For more information, contact Helen at 519-
        882-0357. A $10 reservation fee is required.

        Buses leave Belleville at 8:30am from the Quinte Mall, behind the
        Shell Station/Denny's, returning by 4pm. For more information,
        contact Michael at 613-968-5550.

        Port Colborne:
        Buses leave Port Colborne at 8:30am from West Side Arena on Hwy 58,
        returning by 3pm. For more information, contact Pat at 905-835-8249.

        Contact Barb at 613-476-4097 for information about the bus leaving
        from Picton.

        Fort Erie:
        Buses leave Fort Erie at 8:30am from the Leisureplex (1 Municipal
        Centre Dr.), returning by 3pm. For more information, contact Al at
        905-871-1600 x2543.

        Buses leave Trenton at 7:45am from the Holiday Inn parking lot,
        returning by 5pm. For more information, contact Sally at 613-965-

        Buses leave Cambridge at 10am from the Cambridge Newfoundland Club at
        1500 Dunbar Rd., returning by 3pm. For more information, contact John
        at 519-623-0751.

        For more information, email Katha Fortier at

        For more information, contact Todd at 519-326-0752.

For further information:

For further information: Natalie Mehra at (416) 230-6402

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Ontario Health Coalition

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