The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) says it is "disappointed with the outcome" of the June 2 provincial election that saw another Progressive Conservative (PC) majority government headed by Premier Doug Ford.
“Most Ontarians stood with nurses and health-care professionals in this province and sent a message to the Ford government that they do not support Bill 124, the privatization of the health-care system and attacks on workers’ rights,” ONA president Cathryn Hoy, RN, said in a statement. “While I am disappointed in the results of the election, I am also inspired by the momentum built by ONA members throughout this election, as they fought for a better, stronger, public health-care system.”
Hoy says that as patient advocates, nurses and healthcare professionals will continue to fight for their patients, residents and clients.
“We will not give up in our efforts to overturn Bill 124, Doug Ford’s unfair wage-suppression legislation that has seriously worsened the nursing shortage,” Hoy added. “ONA’s Charter challenge against this law will continue, and we will continue to support our members as they speak out against the bill.”
ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 registered nurses and healthcare professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates.
Speaking to The Rob Snow Show on Friday, June 3, Doris Grinspun, chief executive officer with the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) agreed that tackling the province’s nursing crisis should be top priority for the next leader of Ontario.
“We desperately need Bill 124 to end, and there’s still a year to go,” she said. “We need it to end now so we can retain people in the workplace."
Premier Doug Ford’s victory was announced early on in the night on June 2.
It was later announced by Elections Ontario that the PC Party of Ontario had won 83 seats and accounted for almost 41 per cent of the vote.
However, voter turnout was at an all-time low.
Unofficial results from Elections Ontario showed about 43 per cent of Ontarians 18 years and older placed a vote, down from 57 per cent from four years ago.
Although official tabulation has not been completed, the agency confirmed Friday that turnout was the lowest on record.
The previous turnout low was 48 per cent in 2011, when Dalton McGuinty's Liberal Party won a minority government.
Listen to the full interview with Doris Grinspun below:
- With files from The Canadian Press