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Minutes - June 12, 2002

NOTE NEXT MEETING AUG 26 6:30 pm  Room C252 Hotel Dieu

Minutes  Kingston Health Coalition
12 June 2002.  Hotel Dieu Hospital Room C252   Convened 6:40 pm


1.  The KHC came out of the public medicare petition campaign in the black.
There are a few accounts to be settled so final tally is not yet available.

2.  Web Page.  A summer student has been hired and has prepared a web page.
It is still under construction, but looks great.  Will teach Charlie and
Ross to maintain it.  Any problems, questions  or suggestions, including
suggested links, send ideas to webmaster or to Ross or Charlie.  Ideas were
discussed for the web page including a message page, advertising its
presence such as via a press release.  E-mail lists, check with Community
Information Centre for e-mail addresses of orgs and clubs., etc.

5. Campaign review: Natalie updated us regarding the campaign in Ontario.
It is continuing in many places, signs continue to sprout.  Last few weeks
Romanow revisited places and a bigger rally took place in Ottawa this time.
 In Toronto, he met in AM with 25 people - emphasis this time with the
community side, the union component having been well represented in the
earlier hearing. Various ethnic communities represented, Portugese Health
Centre and Korean spokesperson especially noteable. (10,000 signatures in
Korean were submitted.)  Piles of petitions were handed over, over 100,000
signatures. 

In beginning of week longterm care matters report presented. A street
theatre type presentation
was delivered to Romanow, "Romanow and Juliet". 

The work of the coalition is evident in the response being given to phone
calls, federally and provincially.  Taking notice, calling back, reacting
to sense of capacity to mobilize support. 
There are over 47 operating coalitions - campaign reached over 220,000
households door-to-door.  Postal drops at 270,000 other households.  Over
110,000 signatures.  20,000 lawn signs across province.  25 events across
Ontario on 15 May.  Events at every provincial legislature including
Quebec, PEI and New Brunswick.  We have become more of a national movement.
Church Associations, Aboriginal   Associations, Women's Disability Assoc.
Some key youth groups taking part. 

Locally 8,455 signatures.  More coming in.  Marilyn sent letter with
petitions. Copy to be sent to Natalie for the Ontario record.   Very good
public event. At the Dieu over 150 people attended.  We used over 150
volunteers.

We did awesomely well Natalie said. Maybe best in province.  What was
accomploished with such few resources. 

6. Critical Analysis
The general consensus was that we did great. The canvas campaign organized
by Marilyn wasgreat. She was always there.  Good organization around
territories and maps. Perhaps we started to build too early and lost people
in the real campaign.  In February they were 30 people at the meeting.  In
the time we started our action only three or four active setting up the
office.  Outreach for people committee fell apart.   Some people to do
unlawful electricity campaign or in other activities. Some people who were
eager to do things in the beginning backed off or im interested.  Some
people got tired of waiting to hear what they had to do.  Going
door-to-door was fine, but people on the street work better in some ways.
Some people felt that going door to door and covering only one-third of the
area in four  hours was not a good use of time.  Could have had hundreds of
signatures in the market or in front of the Goat in the same time period.
Others felt door-to-door better for education, talking to people.

Trying to get contact with union people was difficult because lists were
not up-to-date. And didn't have the right contact people.  The Health
Coalition list was better - many people became involved in the campaign
from that list.  On the union side, should have been assigned six weeks as
other people were.  Mobilization like this one will be better in the
future.  Learned a lot from Marilyn.. On the other hand, brought funds in
that wouldn't have been there.

 Disappointed that Breast Clinic didn't allow petition on their march. Was
useful to pass clipboard around steelworker's hall at events, etc.  Useful
to find out who can't go door to door and involve them in other activities.
Someone who liked to speak to groups, like Pat, would prefer outreach
activities, petition signing at market and other events.  Market was great
place. Hugh Makepeace was mentioned by Pat Willar as being great at the
market  Older people were great. remember what it was like without
medicare.  Many rich people didn't give a hoot though. Queens School of
Business Prof, etc.

Wasn't sure that blitz worked.  Better to recruit people for specific area
for which would take responsibility.  Why do the Liberals in Toronto
succeed with their blitzes?  8 to 10 people flood a neighbourhood. It was
pointed out that the Liberals use paid staff and Liberal contact lists.
This campaign was on a specific issue without funding.  People supported
it, but couldn't get people to come out and distribute. Getting more people
active beyond those already politically involved is a challenge not
overcome in this campaign in Kingston.  Marilyn said one needs to ask
people personally.  The NDP list, KHC list, KAN list, etc. provided the
workers because they were called personally.   However, the group agreed
that we also have to work on outreach from now on.  Get on agendas, go to
meetings, Talk to people who have an in to get us invited to make
presentations.  Have to have more of a presence. 

The success of the endorsement news conference with twenty some groups
represented indicate that outreach was occurring.  (NKCHC,  Breast Cancer,
St. John's Ambulance, etc, etc.  Gave support in a publicity sense and
public commitment sense.  It was interesting that some groups such as ALS
wouldn't participate for fear of losing provincial funding. 

It was discussed that people didn't grasp the issue.  Concept "Medicare"
not connected to "OHIP".  Natalie said the the OHC and CHC decided to use
Medicare as a branding step. Over time people will identify with it across
the nation.  Others argued that the key concept needing to be communicated
is "Not-For-Profit" Health Care. 

Township and other suburban areas need special effort to be reached.  Door
to door especially important there because malls hard to access. 

Students at Queens could have been better involved if the timing hadn't
been at end of the year.  Some students attended the action.  Concerned
about the recall of lawn signs.  Lost momentum.  The central organization
was criticized for continuing the campaign after the 15th because it
creates frustration to see other communities continuing when May 15 was the
cut off.  We had a problem having to return stakes that were borrowed.
Leaving them longer risked greater loss. (Katherine noted that Queens anti
globalization group had lots of wooden stakes if needed in the future.)
The campaign team also wanted to end on a high note rather than have the
campaign peter out. Nonetheless some said the campaign ended a bit early
because it had been so wet the preceding weeks.  Much of it came together
at the end of the campaign, especially was beginning to build in the
township. Would have liked to put up more signs, Signs were building. 

Phone number should be left off the petition.  Many people concerned about
putting down their number. Agreed it was useless and counterproductive.
Also it was suggested that the statement be repeated on both sides of the
petition if we want to use the reverse side of the petition. People read
petition and were more than willing to sign it.  It was gratifying how
willing most people were to put their name on the petition. However some
said doubted it would make a difference. Are the politicians listening?  It
is important to follow up with further action and push hard.

Might want to look into high energy events such as family barbecues for the
future.  Pleased with the media release conference (endorsement event.)
Also the signs were great and the Chili party at the end was excellent.

One common criticism was that the newsprint flyer was a nightmare. IT was
hard to handle, flimsy, and stamping the KHC contact information on the
inside created a massive task. Such information could have readily been
printed on the flyer.  Content was also criticized. The OFL and the Council
of Canadians handouts were suggested as being far superior.  Not just
because of the quality of the paper, but because of the point form and the
excellent information in summary form. 

The ribbons seemed like a great idea when raised, but didn't work out.
Majority of households took them down as soon as the canvasser left.
Printing on them was useless because they couldn't be read once hung up.
On cars, they got a lot of attention, though. 

The buttons were surprisingly successful and great. People bought them
willingly and wore them.

Disappointment was expressed about Whig Standard coverage.  We couldn't get
them to cover us, seemingly because of editorial bias. Four articles in
four weeks were in the paper supporting privatization.  This bias was
visible in a number of newspapers across the province, Natalie reported.
However, Kingston This Week, Heritage and the radio and TV stations and PIC
Press gave excellent coverage. 

The issue of having a mid week culmination of the campaign was raised. Why
May 15.  Natalie explained that the organizing committee feared there would
be a Provincial Election called June 8 and weekends to that point were
busy.  Also media don't cover things on Saturday or Friday evenings.

7.  Where to next.  Natalie reported on the OHC strategy
Emerging issues - Fact sheets, printed resources.  If interactive what
activities.  Focus on Politicians in immediate future.  Federal,
Provincial,  Romanow.  He has indicated he doesn't care if delivery public
or private in some areas.  The private hospitals in Brampton and Ottawa are
immediate issues.

We need to respond to the CMA proposed Charter on Health Care. This was
proposed by the left a few years ago. They are taking it over with some
twists.  Added principle of "accountability". 

Kirby report is coming out in the fall.  Series of other reports leading up
to the provincial election. We need to be ready to respond to them.   

Local coalitions need to address local picture. - Primary Health Care ,
Home Care, Long Term Care. 

The OHC is going to work on templates for the province.  Local and
community to report on their situations.  Then have a convergence after
Romanow Report

Lynda said - the reality is that the NDP is not getting in. We have to
influence the other parties that do have power.  Post cards that address
issues in our community. Target politicians who endorsed it.  Need to stay
in the media., press releases., letters to the editor, react to MPP's
actions every time issue comes up. 

Others argued post cards not such a good idea.  Can't go door-to-door and
be sure they will be sent in.  Not sure of how effective.  Need to stay
high profile, Stay public as events come up.  And hit Green Party as well.
Consider plant gating hospitals and health care facilities - urgency of
saving medicare. 

8. Announcements: G8 Caravan on June 25.  Council on Aging Open House.
June 13, 14.

9. Adjournment.  Next meeting 26th August, 6:30 pm at C252 Hotel Dieu