Sunday, February 25, 2024

GBHC Finalizes Local Arrangements for Province-Wide Healthcare Referendum

On Friday, May 26 and Saturday, May 27, more than a thousand voting stations will be open across Ontario, including in this region. Since the beginning of April, the recently formed Grey Bruce Health Coalition has been working to organize this grassroots referendum in communities throughout Grey and Bruce counties.

At 41 different locations, from Tobermory to Kincardine, Port Elgin to Holstein, Owen Sound to Thornbury, polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. Polls will be staffed by local volunteers and are open to residents 16 years of age and older. Voters will be asked to pledge that they will not vote twice in this poll.

The GBHC is an affiliate of the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC), a non-profit, nonpartisan organization representing over 400 local volunteer coalitions in Ontario. This organization has been advocating for public healthcare in Ontario for over 40 years.

The Ontario Health Coalition says that the referendum question is straightforward: Do you want our public hospital services to be privatized to for-profit hospitals and clinics? “Yes” or “No”. Those who prefer to vote online are able to do so at PublicHospitalVote.ca.

To operate the polls efficiently and effectively on the days of the vote, the Coalition is still in need of many volunteers. A list of communities still needing volunteers is attached. Those interested in volunteering are asked to contact Brenda Scott or Norah Beatty.

Once the polls close on May 27, the sealed ballot boxes will be transported to a central location for counting. The counting will take place on Sunday, May 28, under the direction of independent members of the community. Scrutineers and members of the media will be able to watch the count if they choose.

Polling stations in the Municipality of Meaford will be located at the Dollarama, E&R Bulk Bin, Meaford Hall (sidewalk), and at the LCBO (sidewalk, May 26 only).

Given the size of our region, counting will take place in two different locations.

Ballots from Meaford, Thornbury, Clarksburg, Owen Sound, Rockford, and Eugenia will be counted at 107 Kiowana Beach Rd., Meaford. The contact person for this count is Norah Beatty.

Ballots from the rest of Grey Bruce will be counted in Chesley. (The specific location is to be confirmed.) The contact person for this count is Brenda Scott.

The local results for Grey Bruce (a combined total for paper ballots and online votes) will be released on May 29.

On May 31, all of the ballots collected province-wide, including those from Grey Bruce, will be delivered to Queen’s Park where Ontario Health Coalition leadership will conduct another press conference.

Organizers are looking for volunteers in the following communities to staff the polls and help Promote the Vote.

Please call 519-375-5812 (Brenda) or 519-477-3513 (Norah).

 

Ayton

Chippewas of Saugeen

Dundalk

Durham

Elmwood

Eugenia

Hanover

Holstein

Kincardine

Lucknow

Neustadt

Paisley

Port Elgin

Owen Sound

Ripley

Rockford

Southampton

Tara

Thornbury

Tiverton

Walkerton

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