NIAGARA – Marit Stiles (Davenport), the Leader of the Official Opposition NDP was in Niagara this morning with MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) and Lisa Gillies, a community outreach worker, calling on the Ford Conservatives to reverse their decision to end health care coverage for uninsured Ontarians, and stop widening the cracks for the most vulnerable people of this province.
“Ford continues to make choices that make the lives of Ontarians harder. By cutting coverage for uninsured people, this government is essentially saying they don’t care about the core tenet of medicare – universality. That’s free public health care for all,” said Stiles.
Last week, Ford’s Conservatives quietly cut a program that cost the government an average of just $5 million a year but helped 400,000 Ontarians over the course of the program. That’s less than $38/person or just 0.01% of the overall health care budget.
Gillies, a community outreach worker, shared stories from the front lines of how this small but critical program helped connect vulnerable people to the care they need. The elimination of this program will make it much harder for people to get urgent care.
“This program helped keep people out of ERs, which are extremely burdened right now,” said Gates. “This decision makes no sense on any front – morally, ethically or financially.
This choice by the Ford Conservatives is just another way they are turning their backs on people who are struggling right now,” said Gates. “In this case, it’s undocumented workers, migrant workers, newcomers, international students, refugees, unhoused people, and those living mental health and addiction challenges. There’s no need to strip people of care and leave them stranded without help.
“Health care is a human right. We have always fought for a health care system where no one gets left behind, and we’ll keep on pushing back against this decision until everyone has access to free and safe public health care in Ontario,” said Stiles.