Attn: Assignment Editor

TORONTO, Oct. 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Over 1,900 Ontario residents and staff have died of COVID-19 in long-term care. The funding and staffing announcements made by the Ford government over the past week increases the money but is far less than what is needed. There is no clear recruitment plan and they will not address the longstanding issues with lack of full-time work and poor conditions. Quebec and British Columbia acted months ago and are doing more. We are calling for immediate action by the Ford government to recruit & train staff, improve pay and working conditions and provide full-time work. The Ontario Health Coalition has called for a Day of Action below.

Current Public Health guidelines forbid groups of more than 25 outside across Ontario. In accordance with these rules, we are holding press conferences and car motorcades. We will ask most people to be in their cars and participants will make the protest visual by affixing signs and decorating their car (safely) with messages about the need to improve long-term care and make it public.

Across Ontario – List of Events Thursday October 8 at 11 am (unless otherwise specified):

IN TORONTO AT THE LEGISLATURE (car motorcade) AND ONLINE (press conference):
Thursday, October 8th 9:30 am – Outside Queen’s Park, Grosvenor St., Wellesley Ave & Queen’s Park Circle
It will be a car motorcade that will begin at 9:30 am. We are asking people to be in their cars. Participants can make the protest visual by affixing signs and decorating their car (safely) with messages

There will also be a Zoom press conference that will begin at 9:45 am followed by question period at 10:30 am.

Media are invited to join by Zoom at the following link on Thursday, October 8 at 9:45 a.m.

or by phone at 647 558 0588

Meeting ID: 959 9567 1813
Passcode: 603474

EVENTS ACROSS ONTARIO at 11 am on Thursday October 8 unless noted: It will be a press conference with a car motorcade. For the press conference, everyone will keep 2-metre apart, wear masks, outside gatherings will be limited to 25 people, there will be no sharing of microphones and no congregate singing or chanting.

Almonte It will be a public demonstration only, Almonte Old Town Hall, 14 Bridge St.
Chatham Outside Conservative MPP Rick Nicholls office, 111 Heritage Road., Chatham
 Speakers include Shirley Roebuck, Chair, Chatham-Kent, Sarnia, Wallaceburg and Walpole Island First Nations Health Coalitions; Judy Wolanski, who has a family member in LTC, and; Mike Byrne, Unifor.
Dryden In front of government building, 479 Government Road
 Speakers include Katrina Peterson VP Princess Court LTC for Unifor Local 324.
Durham Conservative MPP Lorne Coe’s office, 114 Dundas St. E., Whitby (cars line up on Perry St. for motorcade)
 Speakers include Charlie Courneyea, co-chair, Durham Health Coalition; Lance Livingstone, co-chair, Durham Health Coalition; Candace Rennick, CUPE Ontario, and; Cheryl Perreault, whose parents both died of COVID-19 in long-term care.
Guelph Outside Norfolk Manor, 128 Norfolk St., Guelph
 Speakers include Magee McGuire, co-chair, Ontario Health Coalition Guelph Wellington; Laurie Nicol, vice president, Concerned Friends of Ontario Citizens in Care Facilities, and; Linda Pellegrini, president, CUPE local 57 which includes Guelph General Hospital.
Haliburton At 10 am, drive-in protest at Head Lake Park, in the parking lot across from Baked and Battered
 Speakers include Terry Hartwick, Haliburton City of Kawartha Lakes (H-CKL) LTC Coalition.
Hamilton At Gore Park, King & James St., Hamilton
 Speakers include Janina Lebon, co-chair, Hamilton Health Coalition; Rolf Gerstenberger, co-chair, Hamilton Health Coalition; Fred Hahn, President, CUPE Ontario, and; Cindy Hasler, Vice President, Unifor Local 504
Kawartha Lakes At Victoria Park Lindsay, 190 Kent St. W., Lindsay
 Speakers include Bonnie Kennedy, co-chair, Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition; Zac Miller, co-chair, Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition; Karen Vaughn, RPN from Maplewood Nursing Home in Brighton.
Kingston Demonstration at 12 pm (noon) and press conference at 3 pm, Concession St. & Princess St. (“traffic circle”), Kingston
 Speakers include Matthew Gventer, chair, Kingston Health Coalition; Julia Lynch, CUPE, and; Les Donald, whose husband was in LTC.
Kitchener/Waterloo Outside Conservative MPP Amy Fee’s office, 4281 King St. E., Kitchener
 • Speakers include Jim Stewart, co-chair, Kitchener/Waterloo Health Coalition; Kelly Dick, President, Waterloo Region Labour Union, and; Gean Kuehl, retired RN.
London Outside Conservative MPP Jeff Yurek’s office, 750 Talbot St., St. Thomas
 • Speakers include Peter Bergmanis, co-chair, London Health Coalition, and; Jeff Hanks, co-chair, London Health Coalition.
Niagara Outside Conservative MPP Sam Oosterhoff’s office, 4961 King St., Beamsville
 Speakers include Sue Hotte, chair, Niagara Health Coalition; Carol Dueck, Family Advocacy Region 4, and; Betty Miller, Senior Guardian Angels.
Newmarket Car cavalcade starts at 11 am, press conference starts at 12:30 pm, outside Conservative MPP and Minister of Health Christine Elliot's office, 16635 Yonge St.
 Speakers include Jon Aston, co-organizer, Common Ground Coalition, and; Susan Uy, RPN.
Oakville Outside Conservative MPP Stephen Crawford’s office, 74 Rebecca St., Oakville
 Speakers include Mervyn Russell, chair, Oakville Health Coalition; Linda Love, whose family member suffered in LTC, and; Michael Reid, lawyer with Will Davidson LLP who are involved in 9 class action lawsuits.
Ottawa Online press conference: Link to Zoom meeting below
Meeting Number: 912 449 0182
Password: 775 024
 Speakers include Kevin Skerrett; Ottawa Health Coalition and author of “Pension Fund Capitalism and the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Case of Revera”; Michael Hurley, President, OCHU; Cecilia Nyaamine, President, CUPE 1307 which includes Westend Villa Extendicare; James Infantino, PSAC, and; Betty Yakimneko, Chair, Family Council at Madonna House LTC.
Oxford Outside Conservative MPP Ernie Hardeman’s office, 12 Perry St, Woodstock
 Speakers include Bryan Smith, Chair, Oxford Coalition for Social Justice, and; Brent Thompson, President, Unifor Local 636.
Peel Outside Conservative MPP Amarjot Sandhu’s office, 10 Gilligan Drive, Brampton
 Speakers include Megan Lee, Campaign and Project Coordinator, Ontario Health Coalition; Mary Lou Kennedy, who has a parent in Holland Christian Homes; Sarah Bateman who has a parent in The Village of Erin Meadows, and; Katharine Borczak, who has a parent in The Village of Erin Meadows.
Peterborough Outside Conservative MPP Dave Smith’s office, 1123 Water St.
 Speakers include Roy Brady, chair, Peterborough Health Coalition.
Sault Ste Marie Outside Conservative MPP Ross Romano’s office, 390 Bay St.
 Speakers include Marie DellaVedova on behalf of local family councils; Cathy Humalamaki, President, Unifor Local 1329; Laurie Lessard-Brown, Representative, Unifor National, and; Kelly Janes, Unifor Local 1329.
Scarborough Outside Conservative MPP Raymond Cho’s office, 4559 Sheppard Ave E.
 Speakers include Kingsley Kwok, chair, Scarborough Health Coalition, and; Greg McVeigh, whose family member died at Seven Oaks LTCH.
Sudbury Outside Pioneer Manor, 960 Notre Dame Avenue.
 Speakers include Mick Lowe, LTC resident; Lynn Logtenberger, representing a local family council, and; Eric Boulay, Unifor/Mine Mill.
Thunder Bay At Mini Queen’s Park, 435 S. James St.
 Speakers include Jules Tupker, co-chair, Thunder Bay Health Coalition and Andy Savela, Director of Health Care, Unifor National.
Windsor On the road outside Heron Terrace, 11550 McNorton Street, Windsor
 Speakers include Tracey Ramsey, co-chair, Windsor Health Coalition.

For more information: For Ontario and Toronto, Natalie Mehra executive director (416) 230-6402. In Almonte, Amy Ayers (434) 999-5958. In Chatham, Shirley Roebuck (226) 402-2724. In Dryden, Katrina Peterson (807) 220-1032. In Durham, Charlie Courneyea (416) 557-5935 or Lance Livingstone (905) 431-0823. In Guelph, Magee McGuire (519) 767-0084. In Haliburton, Bonnie Roe (705) 286-2414. In Hamilton, Janina Lebon (905) 545-5514. In Kawartha Lakes, Bonnie Kennedy (416) 567-1163. In Kingston, Matthew Gventer (613) 542-5834. In Kitchener/Waterloo, Jim Stewart (519) 588-5841. In London, Jeff Hanks (226) 448-3067 or Peter Bergmanis (519) 860-4403. In Newmarket, Jon Aston (705) 790-9437. In Niagara, Sue Hotte (905) 932-1646. In Oakville, Mervyn Russell (905) 845-3250. In Ottawa, Mary Catherine (613) 899-5158 or Nancy Parker (613) 875-0474. In Oxford, Bryan J. Smith (226)-228-8309 or Alma Martin (519) 485-2438. In Peel, Rosemary Keenan (647) 636-7850. In Peterborough, Roy Brady (705) 745-2446. In Sault Ste Marie, Kelly Janes (705) 971-3232. In Scarborough, Kingsley Kwok (416) 835-3377. In Sudbury, Melissa Wood (705) 662-8506 or Dot Klein (705) 566-9072. In Thunder Bay, Jules Tupker (807) 577-5946. In Windsor, Tracey Ramsey (519) 995-0239.