Media Statement: ONA Celebrates 50 Years of Activism and Patient Advocacy - More than 900 front-line nurses, health-care professionals and local leaders to meet in Toronto

November 6, 2023

TORONTO, ON, November 6, 2023 – More than 900 front-line nurses, health-care professionals and local leaders are celebrating their 50 years of activism and patient advocacy in Ontario as they gather together for the Biennial Convention of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA).

Scheduled for November 7 to 9 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, the event marks 50 years since ONA was formed by grassroots nurses across the province. It will be a pivotal moment for today’s members to engage in their union’s democratic structures to chart their future in the face of a Conservative government hell bent on privatizing healthcare and worsening existing staffing and funding shortfalls in the public sector.

Among the highlights of this convention are an address to members by Provincial President Erin Ariss, RN, who will reflect on ONA’s history as a grassroots movement arising from a female-dominated profession. Ariss will outline the current realities facing members in their workplaces and point to ONA’s future course fighting for fairness and respect. Her address begins at 9:30 am on Tuesday, November 7 and will be livestreamed on ONA’s public Facebook page.

ONA will unveil a new brand identity for the organization, to take place on Thursday morning, beginning at 9:30 am. Also on the agenda is a full roster of updates, featured speakers, constitutional amendments and resolutions. This is an important meeting where members will chart a course amidst government attacks, and the aftermath of a devastating pandemic.

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