Media Advisory - Thousands Expected to Travel to Five Ontario Cities for Health-Care Protests

    TORONTO, Sept. 26 /CNW/ - On Saturday, Sept. 27, thousands of concerned
citizens from across the province will travel to five Ontario cities to
protest the McGuinty government's health-care cuts and privatization.
    Protesters will be leaving from dozens of communities to take part in
protests in Toronto, Kingston, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, and Windsor.
    The Ontario Health Coalition is reacting to recent announcements which
reveal that the McGuinty government has reneged on election promises to bring
in minimum care standards to protect seniors in nursing homes and to stop
for-profit privatization. In addition, the McGuinty government has started a
round of hospital restructuring that is forcing the biggest cuts to hospital
services since the Harris era.
    "McGuinty has budgeted less for hospitals' global budgets than the
inflation rate, meaning that there is not enough money to maintain the
existing range of services. We are now facing the most significant hospital
cuts in a decade," noted Natalie Mehra, Director of the Ontario Health
Coalition. "Ontario's hospitals already spend $100 per patient less than
hospitals in other provinces; we have the lowest average length of stay and we
staff at lower levels than the rest of Canada. We are tired of the shell-game
McGuinty is playing, hiding behind government-appointed LHINs while forcing
cuts. We have called this protest for our communities to stand up and refuse
to see one more service privatized or moved out of town."
    "Dalton McGuinty's choice to renege on his election promise means that
seniors and their nurses and careworkers will have to wait for proper
protection in nursing homes," added Mehra. "Home-care patients will continue
to suffer with for-profit privatization and competitive bidding destabilizing
their care. This weekend we are sending a strong message to say 'Enough is
enough'. It is time McGuinty started to listen to the public interest in
health care, rather than simply continuing with Harris-style for-profit
privatization and deregulation."

    WHAT:     Departure of protesters from communities across the province

    WHEN:     Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008

    WHERE:    Brampton -  Brampton Civic Hospital (at 9 am)
                          Zellers at Trinity Mall (at 9 am)
                          Brampton Mississauga and District Labour Council
                          office, (989 Derry Rd.) (at 9 am)

              Guelph -    Zehrs (297 Eramosa Rd.) (at 8:45 am)
                          York Road Park (at 8:50 am)
                          Edinburgh and Stone Rd., by Sears (8:50 am)

    Hamilton -            350 Kenilworth Ave. (9:30 am)
                          Limeridge Mall by the Bay (9: 15 am)
                          Mapleview Mall by the Bay (9:30 am)
                          Oakville Place by the Bay (9:45 am)

    Kitchener -           Fairview Mall outside of Sears (9:30)

    Lindsay -             National Grocers lot (55 Angeline St.) (at 9 am)

    London -              CAW Local 27 office (606 First St.) (at 10 am)

    Ottawa -              Nation CUPE office (1375 St. Laurent Blvd.) (at
                          8:30 am)

    Oshawa -              Zellers at Oshawa Centre (at 9:30 pm)

    Peterborough -        Northcrest Mall (at 8:45 am)
                          CUPE office (Hilliard &Marina) (at 9 am)

    Powassan -            Park and Go by the by-pass (at 7:30 am)

    North Bay -           180 Sheriff St (at 8:15 am)

    Sturgeon Falls -      Tim Hortons (9 am)

    The events by city:

        Toronto -      Protest will start at Metro Hall Square (Corner of
                       King and John Sts.) at 11 am.
                       Participants will march to Queen's Park (along
                       University Ave.).
                       A rally will be held at Queen's Park at 1 pm.

        Kingston -     Protest starts at McBurney Park (Ordinance & Alma
                       Sts.) at 11 am.

        Sudbury -      Tom Davies Square (Brady & Minto Sts.) at 11 am.

        Thunder Bay -  Protest will start at Paterson Park (May and Miles
                       Sts.) at 11 am.
                       Participants will march to MPP Bill Mauro's office
                       (240 South Syndicate Ave.)
                       A rally will be held at Bill Mauro's office starting
                       at 1 pm.

        Windsor -      Protest will start at Dieppe Park (Riverside Dr. and
                       Ferry St.) at 11 am.
                       A rally will be held at MPP Dwight Duncan's office
                       (2825 Lauzon Parkway, unit 211)

For further information:

For further information: Natalie Mehra, Director of the Ontario Health
Coalition, (416) 441-2502

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