Ontario Health Coalition

Ontario Health Coalition

May 15, 2006 13:15 ET


Over 96% Vote for 100% Public Hospitals in Sarnia and the Sault this weekend Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - May 15, 2006) - Close to 25,000 votes were cast in Sarnia and Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday to keep their hospitals 100 per cent publicly funded, financed, owned, administered and operated. More than 55,000 votes have already been cast in citizen called plebiscites in St. Catharines, Woodstock, North Bay and Hamilton.

Sarnia Vote total 15,524
14,961 Yes votes in favour of keeping the hospital public
512 No votes
51 Spoiled Ballots
96.2% In favour of keeping Sarnia-Lambton's hospital 100% public

Sault Ste. Marie total 8,899
8,627 Yes votes in favour of keeping the hospital public
264 No votes
8 Spoiled ballots
96.9% In favour of keeping the Sault Area Hospital 100% public

Total votes in favour of stopping privatized P3 hospitals in plebiscites to date: 80,304:
Communities that have held plebiscites are: St. Catharines, North Bay, Woodstock, Hamilton, Sarnia and Sault Ste. Marie.

"We were overwhelmed by the number of people who thanked the coalition and the hundreds of volunteers staffing the polling stations across the city, for conducting this vote," said Dave Harasymiw, co-chair of the Sault Ste. Marie Health Coalition and an emergency room Registered Nurse. "We know from evidence produced internationally that these P3 hospitals will cost more than publicly financed hospitals. The high costs will take money away from clinical budgets and beds. The McGuinty government must finance our hospitals publicly and keep them non-profit."

The response was similar in the Sarnia. A co-chair in Sarnia-Lambton, Arlene Patterson said, "We got more votes than they mayor! The huge turnout for this voluntary citizen-conducted vote has given people an opportunity to send a very clear message to our politicians that the health system is ours and we expect them to operate in the public's interest, not in the interest of profit-seeking businesses."

"Province-wide we now have over 80,000 votes against P3 privatization of our hospitals in six communities," said Natalie Mehra, Director of the Ontario Health Coalition. "We know of other communities that want to hold plebiscites. We will continue holding the McGuinty government's feet to the fire to pressure him to keep his election promise to stop the P3 privatization of our hospitals."

The Votes in Context:
Health Coalition plebiscites are voluntary community-wide votes run by volunteers. The results have been extremely large in all the communities. The credibility of the vote is rigorously protected, vote counts are scrutineered and records carefully maintained. Every voter was asked to sign a pledge to vote only once and was asked to register with their name and address.


Contact Information

  • Natalie Mehra
    Primary Phone: 416-441-2502