TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 29, 2016) -

Attn: Assignment Editor

Three more communities are announcing that they are joining in the grassroots referendum to safeguard and restore local community hospital services from cuts. They will be holding media events and are available for interviews regarding this ambitious and unique initiative. The media events will be highly visual.

Volunteers in more than 20 communities across Ontario launched the cross-province volunteer-led referendum several days ago. Momentum continues to build as more and more communities join-in the mass vote.

Public hospitals across Ontario are experiencing devastating cuts. Ontario is currently in the ninth consecutive year of real-dollar cuts to global hospital budgets, the longest stretch in Ontario's history. These cuts mean that local public hospitals across the province cannot keep up even with basic inflation. Hospitals have been cut to the point of dangerous overcrowding and understaffing and patients are paying the price.

What: Media events announcing plans to join Ontario-wide volunteer-led referendum.

Who: Ontario Health Coalition and local coalitions across Ontario. The Ontario Health Coalition represents more than half-a-million Ontarians in its network of more than 400 organizations and more than 50 local chapters. Our members include seniors' organizations, health care professionals and nurses, doctors who support public medicare, unions – both public and private sector, community and cultural organizations, student groups, equity-seeking organizations and many others. Our mandate is to protect and extend quality single-tier public health care for all under the principles of equity and compassion that underlie the Canada Health Act.

When & Where

Monday May 2
Durham - 12 p.m., Northview Community Centre (Boardroom), 150 Beatrice St. E., Oshawa. Visuals: giant prop scissors, ballots and ballot box. Contact: Trish McAuliffe, 905-706-5806 (cell),
St. Joseph Island - Contact: Maria Smith 705-246-2483 (home), 705-943-5772 (cell).
Monday May 9
Midland - 1 p.m., south end of Walmart parking lot (King St. & Hwy 12). Visuals: Red balloons, signs, ballots and ballot box. Contact: Fran Moreau 705-245-7611.
These communities will be joining 20 communities all across Ontario that already launched the referendum this week, including:
Chatham-Kent - Contact: Shirley Roebuck 519-677-4460 or Rick McLean 519-401-2334.
Guelph - Contact Magee McGuire 519-767-0084 (home), 519-830-5340 (cell).
Hamilton - Contact Janina Lebon 905-545-5514 (home), 647-773-1914 (cell).
Kawartha Lakes - Contact: Marlene Beaman-McQuay 705-324-6028.
Leamington - Contact: Kim DeYong 519-817-6328.
London - Contact: Jeff Hanks 226-448-3067, Peter Bergmanis 519-860-4403.
Niagara - Contact: Henry Miron 905-735-4999.
North Bay - Contact Mike Bisaillon 705-492-8818.
Northumberland - Contact: Linda Mackenzie-Nicholas 416-809-2601.
Ottawa - Contact: Al Dupuis 613-808-7710.
Oxford County - Bryan Smith 226-228-8309 or Connie Searles
Peterborough - Contact: Charlene Avon 705-761-4408 or Roy Brady 705-745-2446.
Sarnia - Contact: Shirley Roebuck 519-677-4460.
Sault Ste. Marie - Contact: Margo Dale 705-254-2885.
Scarborough - Contact: Kingsley Kwok, 416-835-3377.
Stratford - Contact: Treena Hollingworth 647-537-4357.
Sudbury - Contact: Felicia Fahey 705-919-4105.
Toronto - Contact: Natalie Mehra 416-230-6402 or Kim Johnston 647-381-7025.
Wallaceburg - Contact: Shirley Roebuck 519-677-4460.
Windsor - Contact: Ken Lewenza Jr. 519-819-0830.

Contact Information:

Ontario Health Coalition
Natalie Mehra
Executive director
416-441-2502 (office)
416-230-6402 (cell)

Ontario Health Coalition
Kim Johnston
Campaign director
647-381-7025 (cell)