A handful of protestors from Sudbury stood in minus 24-degree weather outside Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli’s office Friday morning protesting job and service cuts at Health Sciences North.
About 12 people explained to local media that HSN is facing 50 full-time equivalent cuts which will impact the region.
Doug Allan, a board member of the Ontario Health Coalition, said repeated attempts to meet with Fedeli have failed.
Allan says when Fedeli was an Opposition MPP he met with the coalition.
He says before becoming a government member Fedeli was very open with the coalition and understood the concerns.
“If that’s ending, that’s a problem,” Allan said.
“It’s unacceptable to us that he has refused to meet with us.”
Allan says Fedeli should be concerned about the cuts because HSN also serves people of Nipissing and that means the cuts will also affect his constituents.
Allan adds as the Minister of Finance, it’s Fedeli’s responsibility to meet with the coalition especially as budget talks for the next fiscal year are getting underway.
Allan says HSN needs adequate funding and the coalition needs Fedeli to defend public hospitals.
“We need him to meet the promise of the Ford government which was to end hallway health care,” Allan said.
“But this is not what we’re hearing. We’re eight months into this government. They haven’t solved the problem. They have to work with us. They have to at least meet with us to talk about these issues and find solutions.”
Another of the protestors was Dot Klein, the chair of the Sudbury Health Coalition.
Klein held a yellow bristle board during the protests which was an open letter to Fedeli and she intended to drop it off at his office.
The “letter” reminds Fedeli that the public elected the Tories last June with the promise to end hallway medicine.
It also proposes solutions including restoring closed beds and restoring public health services that meet local needs.
The coalition has also been circulating a petition it plans to present to the Legislature sometime next month.
Klein had one other message for Fedeli and it was to take the message of stopping the proposed cuts back to his colleagues at Queen’s Park.