/NDP promise to open up Minden ED
MPP for Spadina–Fort York Chris Glover holds the laptop with the leader of the official opposition, Marit Stiles on a call during a press conference on July 21 in the Village Green. /EMILY STONEHOUSE staff

NDP promise to open up Minden ED

By Emily Stonehouse

The closure of the Minden Emergency Department (ED) continues to get political. Chris Glover, the MPP for Spadina–Fort York visited Minden on July 21 to chat with locals about the realities of a small town that has not had an ED since June 1, 2023. 

“I’ve come here today because we need a hospital,” said Glover. “We’re going to keep putting the pressure on this government.” 

Glover noted that his appearance in Minden was one of four check-ins that the NDP were doing around the province; keeping tabs on the temperature regarding how Ontarians are feeling about the current Ford government. 

“Minden is ground zero for protecting rural healthcare,” said Glover, referencing the eight other emergency departments that were slated to close across Ontario this past weekend. 

While he acknowledged that there is validity to the reasoning behind staffing shortages at local sites, Glover was able to track the root of the shortages back to Doug Ford. “We do have staffing shortages,” he said, “but this government is fuelling that.” 

Glover was referencing Bill-124, which caps the wages for nursing staff, making it an industry that is impossible to grow into, and challenging to recruit for. 

“This government kept talking about how healthcare workers are heroes,” said Glover, referring specifically to the COVID-19 years, “but that’s just hypocrisy.” 

Glover is confident that while the reasoning behind the closures are cited as staffing, it’s actually part of a bigger plan to inch closer towards privatization of healthcare; something the Ford government has toyed with before. He shared how the current government likes to use the word “innovation” as a bait to hide their ulterior motives. “Innovation is just code for privatization,” he said, “and this closure is about privatization.” 

After Glover met the attendees of the information speakers session, he then welcomed Marit Stiles, the leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, and the official Opposition via Zoom. Stiles visited Minden on May 25, 2023, and has since been an advocate for re-opening the Minden ED at Queen’s Park. “I want you to know that we are there with you,” she told the hushed crowd through the laptop screen, “this is a fight to save lives.” 

Stiles and Glover wrapped up the community consultation with a promise: if the NDP win the provincial election in 2026, the Minden ED will open once again. The news was received with cheers of support amongst the small crowd.