Major win for ONA: Ford government “election muzzling” bill struck down by Court

June 8, 2021

(Toronto, Ontario): The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) is thrilled with today’s court ruling that strikes down the Ford government’s Bill 254, which placed a firm cap on election spending and muzzled freedom of expression of ONA and its members, as well as interfering with collaborating with allies on a common campaign.

Justice Edward M. Morgan found that the 12-month pre-election restricted spending period, the regulation of issue-based advertising, the third-party anti-collusion provisions, the mandatory registration and reporting requirements, and the punishments and administrative penalties are all unconstitutional.

This means that ONA, as well as other unions and organizations, do not have to adhere to the unreasonable pre-election spending limits set out in Bill 254 prior to the dropping of the writ.

“ONA is delighted with this important court win,” says ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN. “Bill 254 was specifically designed to hamper our ability to criticize government policies or speak out on important public policy issues.

“The central tenet of the Ford government’s approach to public health is to suppress nursing and health-care professional wages, cut health-care funding, and to limit freely bargained collective agreements. ONA was forced to take a stand to fight Bill 254 so that our members’ stories can be told and heard leading up to the provincial election.”

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

For more information: 

Katherine Russo
[email protected]