Updated Dec. 7: The Sudbury chapter of the Ontario Health Coalition has to rethink its planned protest at Queen's Park, scheduled for Dec. 10, after learning the legislature closes today for Christmas holidays.
Dot Klein, who chairs the Sudbury chapter, issued a news release on Dec. 6, saying the group will continue to gather signatures and look to head to Queen's Park in January.
"We have had to cancel the bus to Toronto to deliver thousands of signatures gathered on the Save Our Hospital -- Save Our Public Health Care petition," Klein wrote. "We will continue to gather signatures for our petition. As soon as we know the date the Legislature Assembly (sic) will return in 2019, we will set a date for the bus to go to Toronto."
If you are interested in being on the bus, you can call Klein at 705-566-9072.
The Sudbury chapter of the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) is looking to fill a bus to Queen's Park where they will be submitting a petition to Premier Doug Ford to bring attention to what they say is a crisis that is mounting in Sudbury's health care system.
A coach bus has been rented through donations, and between 50 to 55 people are needed to fill it. The bus will be departing from the Paris and York Street parking lot at 5:30 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 10, returning between 8 and 9 p.m.
Ontario Health Coalition Sudbury chapter chair Dot Klein says that Sudbury's Health Sciences North is in crisis, and care in the city is in jeopardy.
"In the past, citizens built three hospitals in Sudbury. We had services beds for the sick. We had doctors and nurses. We had community nurses - VON and public health. They all worked well together. Town councils supported them," said Klein in a news release.
"Fundraising was the norm - Lions Clubs, Shriners, ladies auxiliaries, churches. No deficit funding. Then change occurred and even though the population was aging and health issues increased and the value of the dollar decreased - the hospitals were reduced to one, Not for profit community nursing services were 'run out of town' by for-profit agencies, politicians took over the 'direction of health care', deficit funding became the norm until we now are millions of dollars in debt, we have no hospital beds for patients (only research offices), no public funded community health services."
A petition is being circulated by the OHC Sudbury Chapter and will be taken to Queen's Park on Dec. 10.
Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas and Sudbury MPP Jamie West will meet with those making the bus ride south and take the thousands of signatures that have been collected into the legislature.
Question period will begin and Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliot will be asked questions, which will be led by health care critic Gélinas.
"I have volunteers all over getting signatures. There are petition papers at Parkside Centre. Please sign and even take some papers and get others to sign," said Klein.
All signatures need to be collected by Dec. 9, and there are currently more than 2,000 signatures, though Klein is hopeful to have upwards of 3,000 by the time she heads to Queen's Park.
Everyone and anyone is welcome on the bus. If numbers are great enough, a second bus will be rented for the trip.