Health Minister Must Stop Denying Nurses are Quitting Amidst Staffing Crisis, says ONA

December 1, 2022

TORONTO, ON, December 1, 2022 – The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) says Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones is very wrong when she denies many nurses in Ontario are leaving their jobs and the nursing profession amidst a staffing crisis.

“The minister is misleading Ontarians, pure and simple,” says ONA Interim Provincial President Bernie Robinson, RN. “The latest report on Ontario’s nursing workforce clearly shows an alarming increase in the number of nurses needed right now just to reach the Canadian average RN-to-resident ratio. Ontario is alarmingly short of nurses, and it keeps worsening – especially under this government’s watch and regressive actions.”

The latest data show that the province is short more than 24,000 registered nurses – up from 22,000 last year (

“The front lines are desperately short of nurses,” says Robinson. “Hospitals are spending outrageous amounts of taxpayers’ dollars to bring in private, for-profit agency nurses. It’s a stop-gap measure to try to provide care to Ontarians.”

Robinson says if the Ford government is serious about fixing the nursing shortage, it would not lodge an appeal of the Superior Court decision that found his Bill 124 wage-suppression legislation to be unconstitutional.

“We hear from nurses every day that they are leaving their jobs because the conditions are unbearable and their rights have been trampled by Premier Ford and Bill 124,” says Robinson. “If the Premier appreciates nurses, as he keeps saying he does, he should drop any plans to fight the ruling. Without this, his words and those of his health minister are just that – empty words.”

ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 registered 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, clinics and industry.