Monday, June 29, 2015

Activism

I had a unique experience last week - I became an activist! There is a group in Canada called The Council of Canadians with chapters in many cities and provinces.  The Council of Canadians is Canada's largest citizens' organization, acting for democracy and social justice. I joined awhile ago but hadn't participated in any actions yet...until last week.

On Wednesday and Thursday nights we gathered at the house of the London's Chapter's chairperson and made a zillion posters and other props (whilst drinking wine and eating munchies:) The theme was "Death by a Thousand Cuts" as hospitals and patients all across Ontario and Canada are suffering from continual cuts in funding.  Everything from nurses being cut, home services cut, whole departments being closed, veterans' programs being shut down, maternity wards disappearing etc etc. The rally took place on Friday in front of Deb Matthews office, Minister of Health and Long Term Care. (We don't think she was at her office - at least no one saw her peeking out!)

We gathered outside her office at 10:30am and started setting up...(we filled Deb's foyer with balloons with the various cuts listed on them, hee hee hee!)

Members of other groups and unions joined in...

Here's what happens to a person when so many cuts are made to healthcare - those are "knives" sticking into the hospital bed which is occupied by a skeleton.

Health care in London is really suffering - a fellow blogger faced a 10 hour wait in Emerg last week!
Here's another angle...

Our chairperson is a talented London artist.  This is a papier-mache head she made which looks exactly like Ontario's premier - Kathleen Wynne!

The big worry is that many of our services are becoming privatized which means "user fees" instead of the service being covered by our medicare. Those are bags of money of the hospital bed below representing another $30,000,000 in cuts.

Overall about 200 people turned out for the rally...

Then we marched down to City Hall where we joined striking CUPE members who are looking (in vain) for a fair contract.

This is truly the "summer of discontent" as ALL teachers' unions in the area have been without a contract for almost a year and some are in strike position. And the possible Loblaws strike affects one of our own - Carla! 

Its clouding up AGAIN!! All weekend it rained and was cool. Just miserable. There was an international food festival going on in Victoria Park - I'm lucky I wandered through after the rally on Friday while it was still sunny and warm. I bought some "churros" glazed with chocolate and cinnamon sugar! Delish!

Is it raining a lot where you are??

13 comments:

Jane said...

YAY for you!
My Dr 'fudged' a requisition form for me so I didn't have to pay for a test that OHIP used to cover.
Jane x

Marjorie Stintzi said...

Well done. A pox on OHIP and Hydro One.

kim said...

Good for you. Health care here is so scary. We have good care but very expensive and unfair to some..

livingrichonthecheap said...

Very creative rally! I am a bit scared about what our future options are for a Federal Government. I like bits and pieces of each party and hate bits and pieces of each party. It is scaldingly hot and dry here. Only 1 light sprinkle of rain in 30 days. Forest fires are imminent and we are on water rationing for lawns. Send us some, will ya?

Gill said...

poured down here all weekend as well. Here in Alliston, there are no doctors taking patients, so we have to travel over an hour to visit our family doctor. I know we think the health care is awful in Canada, but believe me when I say it's a hundred times worse in Great Britain. My mother fell and hurt her shoulder last October, we are hoping she will have her much needed operation on it by September.........again "we hope!"


I don't agree with all the cuts; to my mind they should be giving the system more money, but our health care is a lot better than a lot of other countries.

Tammy said...

I think we also have to point out the obvious ... the reason why there was a 10-hr waiting time for Carla in the ER ... is because there are people like Carla who abuse the ER, using its resources, when they shouldn't be. Triage exists for a reason. If her daughter had really required the services of Emergency medicine she would have been seen and treated long before a 10-hour wait.

it's me, Sam said...

I don't think that comment was called for here... This is about Jane's writing about what's happening in her next of the woods. These blogs are meant to foster a sense of community. If you take issue with someone else's blog, tell them... Don;t use someone's space about your issue.

Janelle said...

Jane, you do realize though, that this means, by default someone(s) else paid for your test? That's not a comment of judgement, but rather a fact of socialized medicine.

Jane said...

The same way my taxes pay for the person who never works,and never wants to.
Jane x

Janelle said...

I love your blog and respect your opinion....but I do think you've just uncovered just exactly what is wrong with socialism! People are not motivated to be accountable. "I want something for "free" because someone else is getting something". If only we had to be accountable for our own choices, the system would be so much more effective. To each is own. That's not hate, that's just a differing opinion.

Jane said...

I feel guilty that we've hijacked Jane's comment section!
Jane x

Peg said...

Tammy was providing commentary on something noted in Jane's blog, which seems like fair game to me. It's nice to see opnions of all kinds, as it's what makes life interesting especially if it challenges our own views. I like Jane's blog for that. Her views are differnet than mine and i like to learn and read!
Agree that blogs are meant to foster a sense of community - but a community doesn't have to share the same views on everything....if it did...well, we just described a cult! (:

Sonya Ann said...

This is quite the can of worms.
We have pretty much given up on using our mandatory health insurance. We pay extra and just go to the nearest CVS clinic.