Protest to Greet Sault Ste. Marie Pre-Budget Consultations, Thursday, January 21st


When Members of Provincial Parliament travel to Sault Ste. Marie on January 21 for pre-budget consultations, they will be met with community protests over austerity cuts and privatization. The Ontario Federation of Labour and the Ontario Common Front will be joining the Ontario Health Coalition in Sault Ste. Marie to protest the deep cuts to Ontario hospitals and social programs. “Here in Sault Ste. Marie, we are seeing the effects of austerity in every community. Hospital cuts, hydro privatization, mounting student debt, precarious jobs and Canada’s lowest social program funding are taking their toll in every neighbourhood,” said, Ahmad Gaied, Executive Vice-President of the Ontario Federation of Labour. “Ontarians are calling on the Wynne Government to abandon her austerity agenda and lay out a plan for restoring public services, growing our economy, expanding Ontario’s revenue base and lifting standards for everyone. The next Ontario budget shouldn’t be constrained by government cuts, it should create an Ontario in which everyone prospers.” “Nine consecutive years of real-dollar cuts have plunged Ontario to the bottom of the country in hospital funding. Patients are being left on stretchers in hallways, surgeries are being cancelled and vital health services are being privatized, subject to user fees, or moved out of town,” said Natalie Mehra, Executive Director of the Ontario Health Coalition. “It is beyond time that these devastating hospital cuts be stopped. The Ontario government must restore our public hospital funding to at least the average of all the other provinces in Canada.” Patients, workers, students, seniors and anti-poverty activists will rally outside the Sault Ste. Marie consultations of the Ontario Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. WHAT: Community protest of Sault Ste. Marie Pre-Budget Consultation  WHERE: Delta Sault Ste. Marie Waterfront Hotel, 208 St. Mary’s River Dr.  WHEN: Noon on Thu. Jan. 21, 2016  SPEAKERS WILL INCLUDE: 

  • Emcee: Folgo DellaVedova, Sault and Area Health Coalition
  • Ahmad Gaied, Executive Vice-President, Ontario Federation of Labour
  • Joe Krmpotich, First Vice-President, Sault Ste. Marie and District Labour Council
  • Margo Dale, Chair, Sault and Area Health Coalition 
  • Jeff Arbus, Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU)
  • Patients will share experiences with hospital cuts and privatization

Similar protests will take place at every pre-budget consultation in Ontario. For more information, visit: [author ]The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter. Ontario Health Coalition represents more than 400 member organizations and a network of Local Health Coalitions and individual members. For information, visit and follow @OntarioHealthC on Facebook and Twitter.[/author]  


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