Private or public healthcare? Grey-Bruce residents can vote in community referendum

The local arm of the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) is participating in a province-wide citizen’s referendum to find out whether people are in favour of privatizing hospital services and clinics or keeping them public.

The Grey Bruce Health Coalition says it will be taking part in the referendum that challenges Bill 60, the legislation brought forward by the Ford government to allow for private clinics to offer more medical services.

“The government wasn’t really granted a mandate to do this in the 2022 election, because they never brought it up during the election,” said co-chair Brenda Scott. “The move to prepare and implement Bill 60 started two months after the election. So the people of Ontario haven’t really voted on this issues, so that’s what we’re trying to do, to get that opinion out there.”

In the referendum, members of the community will be asked a yes or no question: do you want our public hospital services to be privatized to for-profit hospitals and clinics?

Voting will take place on Friday, May 26 and Saturday, May 27 with stations to be made available in Grey and Bruce Counties.

Anyone age 16 and older can vote in the polls near their homes, or, voting will be available online at during the month of May.

Scott says they could use more support getting polling stations set up.

“What we’re looking to do now is to approach different communities and find locations where we could set up a poll on the days of the vote,” she said. “We’re also going to try and set up some advance polls for some larger employers and unions who have requested it. And we may so some pop-up polls as well at community events, farmers’ markets, that kind of thing. We want to give everybody possible a chance to express their opinion.”

More details about poll locations will be released in the coming weeks.

Grey Bruce Health Care volunteers will also be handing out leaflets and lawn signs to get more people interested in the vote. The coalition is holding a Zoom Town Hall meeting on Thursday, May 4 at 7 p.m.

Volunteers are needed to help deliver signs and leaflets, identify poll locations, and to run the voting stations on the days of the referendum. If you are interested in taking part, please call 519 375 5812 or 519 477 3513. You can also send an email to

-with files from Eric Thompson

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