We need to stick together and protect our essential services. That was the message at the Save our Services Rally in Huntsville on Mar. 21. About 300 people piled together on Main Street in front of Town Hall to speak out against single-siting surgical services to South Memorial Hospital. Burk’s Falls Reeve and working paramedic Cathy Still says we need speak up.

Burk’s Falls Hospital officially closed in 2009. Still says single-siting services will cost money and lives.

Other speakers at the rally included Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller, Ontario PC party leader candidate Christine Elliott, former councillors Tim Withey and Fran Coleman, District Chair John Klinck, Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith and members of the medical profession.

Applause and chants echoed downtown with signs bobbing among the crowd. Residents from across Muskoka and Almaguin were among the 300 at the rally, many of whom say the cuts have to stop.

Residents were also encouraged to sign a petition set up in Partners Hall. MPP Miller promised the crowd he would continue to present the petitions to the Legislature.

The Huntsville OPP closed Main Street for the last half hour of the rally, which ran from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m.

Withey, former mayor Hugh Mackenzie and Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison organized the rally, while town staff created and passed around SOS (Save our Services) signs, posters and postcards.

(Photo By: Melissa Candelaria) Crowd in front of Huntsville Town Hall.