Media Statement: Ontario Nurses’ Association Celebrates News that Ford Government will Repeal Bill 124

February 13, 2024

The Ontario Nurses’ Association’s Provincial President Erin Ariss and its 68,000 nurses and health-care professional members are celebrating the news that the Ford government will repeal Bill 124.

This follows a decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal yesterday, which affirmed that Bill 124 was an unconstitutional violation of collective bargaining rights for public-sector workers across Ontario.

“This is a victory for ONA members, and for all public-sector workers across Ontario,” says Ariss. “ONA led the way in challenging this bill in court, filing our legal challenge back in 2019, along with many union allies. After a five-year fight, we have shown this government that attacking the rights of workers providing quality public-sector services will only result in strengthening the labour movement.”

Ariss says that Bill 124 was unnecessary and never should have been enacted. “The bill caused immeasurable damage to nurses and health-care professionals and the patients, residents and clients who rely on our care. They have suffered and Ontario’s publicly funded and publicly delivered health-care system has been left on the brink of collapse.”

She adds that she expects to see this government continue its attacks on public health care; she warns that ONA and its labour partners will use their collective strength to fight them.

“The Premier should learn the lessons from this experience,” says Ariss. “Nurses and health-care professionals will use our collective strength, we will not back down, and we will win because Ontarians depend on us. It’s time for this government to begin working with those of us who actually provide care on the front lines, to respect us and to work together to repair the damage done.”