QUEEN’S PARK – Marit Stiles, Leader of the Ontario NDP, and MPP Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines) rose in support of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) who are taking action to call for better staffing and better wages that will ensure better patient care in publicly funded hospitals.
“Health care is a tough but rewarding profession”, said Stiles. “Health care workers deserve our respect and admiration, but in Ontario’s health care system today, they simply don’t receive it. Their demands are reasonable - ensure better staffing and wages so that Ontarians get the care they need when they need it.”
After facing wage-suppression for three years under Bill 124, the ONA are seeking a better contract for their 60,000 hospital-sector members. Bill 124 was ruled unconstitutional last year, but Doug Ford has insisted on appealing the decision in court.
“Nurses across Niagara are braving an ice storm today in St. Catharines to advocate for themselves”, said Stevens. “Their message is clear: It is time to stop calling nurses heroes, while supporting unconstitutional legislation that is wreaking havoc on the staffing crisis.”
Today’s rally is the second in a series of province-wide, escalating actions planned by nurses and health-care professionals who are fighting for improvements that will help Ontarians get the public hospital care they need and deserve.
"New Democrats stand with nurses and health care workers, and we will advocate every day for fresh solutions that will fix the public system, put patients ahead of profits and give health care workers the support they deserve," said Stiles.
The ONA is the largest provincial nurses’ union in Canada. They are protesting on February 23 in locations across the province.