Ontario Nurses’ Association says Ford Budget Fails Nurses, Health-Care Professionals – and Ontarians

April 28, 2022

Toronto, ON, April 28, 2022 – The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) says the Ford government’s provincial budget fails to present Ontarians with meaningful solutions to rebuild our health-care system after two years of a pandemic that has devastated Ontario’s health workforce.

“ONA has been blunt with the premier: nurses and health-care professionals are leaving their jobs in droves,” says ONA President Cathryn Hoy, RN. “This budget reads like election sloganeering, not a meaningful plan to address the realities on the front lines of health care, the critical health-care worker shortage and the immediate care needs of Ontarians.”

Hoy says funding to rebuild Ontario hospitals will be wasted without also addressing the need to attract and retain the nurses and health-care professionals needed to staff new beds.

“COVID-19 has decimated the province’s health-care system, and this government’s policies are directly responsible for worsening an already-serious nursing shortage,” says Hoy. “This government knows that its wage suppression legislation, Bill 124, has sent nurses and health-care professionals out the door and yet it has failed to repeal the bill. Our patients are waiting far too long for needed surgeries, services and procedures. Purporting to work for workers, this budget just plain doesn’t work,” she says.

Hoy says most of the announcements in the budget are not new, and there is no substantive plan to increase the health-care staffing that is needed to ensure Ontarians have access to the care they need today and into the future.

In its pre-budget submission, ONA called for a number of measures to stabilize the health-care system, including the urgent need to improve the working conditions of nurses and health-care professionals and maximize retention of existing workers.

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.

For more information: 

Sheree Bond (416) 986-8240 shereeb@ona.org

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