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Ontario Health Coalition referendum results are in

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A small but passionate group gathered at Sunnidale Park in Barrie Tuesday morning to call out the province’s plan to privatize public health services.

Over the past several weeks, the Simcoe County Health Coalition took part in a province-wide referendum asking people if they want public hospital services privatized to for-profit hospitals and clinics.

“Ninety-nine per cent of people who voted in this referendum in Simcoe County rejected the government’s plans to privatize our hospital services,” said Anisa Carrascal with Simcoe County Health Coalition.

More than 15,380 votes were cast in the county. Province-wide, just over 382,000 votes were cast both in person and online.

A total of 98 per cent of ballots cast in the province were opposed to the province’s plan.

“Funding our public hospitals is a better answer than selling services in public hospitals basically, the premise is fix it, don’t sell it,” said Carrascal.

“The government relies on our votes, and they are meant to work to make the betterment of society, so when they are working against the betterment of society and society stands up to say you better cut it out, it can work,” said Elizabeth Watts President of Local 346 Opseu.

“The mandate for this government was clear. Doug Ford campaigned saying he was not going to privatize any health care services, and two months after the election, he announced the privatization of surgeries and diagnosis. So, we’re telling him this is not what we voted for,” said Carrascal.

The group is heading to Queen's Park on Wednesday to pass on the results of its referendum to the government.

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