Ontario Nurses’ Association Urges Voters to Prioritize Protecting Public Health Care, Ahead of Election Debate

May 16, 2022

TORONTO, May 16, 2022 – The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) urges Ontarians to pay close attention to the promises made at today’s election debate and vote for protecting public health care on June 2.

“We have carefully compared party platforms and clearly see which parties have strong commitments to the health and well-being of Ontarians,” says ONA President Cathryn Hoy, RN. “The Ford government’s four years in office showed nurses and health-care professionals that this party does not value nurses and health-care professionals. They have clearly said they intend to privatize and further open to profit more of our health-care system, and will continue to divert taxpayer money from our public system while rewarding his wealthy developers and for-profit companies – at the expense of your health.”

Hoy says, “this will imperil anyone who needs health care. Both this government’s actions and the plan to transfer backlogged health procedures to private clinics show that if re-elected, Ontario’s health-care system will be privatized rather than reinforced.”

ONA’s comparison of party platforms shows that:

  • The PCs will focus on building infrastructure – yet without a real plan to recruit and retain health-care providers to staff new beds; increase the role of for-profit companies in health care; degrade the quality of care through unsafe, less-qualified team nursing models.
  • The NDP’s platform shows that it has listened to health-care professionals by promising to; repeal bill 124 on day one if elected; phase out for-profit interests in long-term, home and community care; hire 30,000 more nurses – though ONA notes they must work with nurses to implement a sustainable plan to make this happen.
  • The Liberals have committed to repealing the Ford government’s Bill 124 – wage suppression legislation that has led to the nursing shortage worsening; will increase funding to home care – though they must ensure it goes to non-profit care providers.
  • The Green Party has promised to repeal Bill 124; increase the number of NP-led clinics and provided details on measures to increase mental health services.

“Ahead of this debate, I can’t stress enough the importance of looking behind the election slogans and questioning exactly what each party will do if elected,” says Hoy. “We simply must support a party that can be trusted to end the health staffing crisis and protect our public health-care system, and invest in robust, publicly funded and publicly delivered health care. This province and our economy cannot thrive without it.”

ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, industry and clinics.

For more information: 

Katherine Russo 647-539-1925 katheriner@ona.org