Erin Ariss, RN, Elected Ontario Nurses’ Association Provincial President

May 1, 2023

TORONTO, ON, May 1, 2023 – Members of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) – the country’s largest nurses’ union – have voted to elect Erin Ariss, RN, as their new Provincial President. She begins her term today.

Ariss is an Emergency Department registered nurse (RN) from Kitchener, Ontario, and has been an active ONA member for more than two decades. She will lead the union at a time that is increasingly fraught for front-line RNs and health-care professionals, who are facing untenable workloads, wages that have been artificially suppressed by the Ford government and a lack of respect from their employers – all while dealing with the impact of a prolonged pandemic.

Bernie Robinson, RN, ONA’s Interim Provincial President, says that, “We are confident that members have elected someone who is more than up to the challenge of facing down the Ford government and anyone else who is attempting to harm our publicly funded, publicly delivered health-care system, our patients, or the nurses and health-care professionals who care for them.”

Ariss says she has a vision for ONA that is one of “a movement of mobilized and inspired nurses and health-care professionals, acting as one with a strong and unified voice.”

Ariss takes over her new role as ONA prepares to mark its 50th anniversary this fall. She says that “ONA has come full circle – 50 years ago, nurses were marching in the streets to demand better staffing, better wages and respect. We’re having to do it all over again today, fighting this provincial government for respect for nurses, fighting for better patient care, and fighting for the restoration of the public health-care system for Ontarians so that equitable, safe patient care is there when people need it.”

In addition to serving ONA at both a local and provincial level as a human rights and equity representative and health and safety representative, Ariss has served as local secretary, Bargaining Unit President for a Kitchener hospital, Local Coordinator and Vice-President for her region on ONA’s Board of Directors.

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


Headshot of ONA President Erin Ariss, RN

ONA President Erin Ariss, RN

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Katherine Russo