Ontario Greens’ Dr. Marlene Spruyt calls for urgent action at cross-party health-care summit | Unpublished

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The Green Party of Ontario is independent yet is philosophically aligned with other green parties in Canada and around the world. The GPO is fiscally conservative, socially progressive and environmentally focused, and begins with the basic premise that all life on the planet is interconnected and that humans have a responsibility to protect and preserve the natural world.

The Green Party of Ontario (GPO) became an officially registered political party in 1983, and has been developing in size and sophistication since that time, expanding its membership and rising in the polls. We have increased the number of candidates in successive provincial elections. In the 1999 provincial election, we fielded 58 candidates, and became the fourth largest party in the province. In 2003, we fielded our first nearly-full slate, 102 out of 103 candidates, and received 2.8% of the vote. The 2007 election saw Ontario voters support Green Party values with unprecedented enthusiasm. The GPO, for the first time in history, had a full slate of candidates and garnered over 8% of the vote. At present, the GPO is averaging about 9% in the polls. 

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Ontario Greens’ Dr. Marlene Spruyt calls for urgent action at cross-party health-care summit

January 10, 2022

“Nurses are burnt out and overworked. Hospitals are under severe pressure.” 

KINGSTON -- Ontario Greens’ health critic and candidate for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston Dr. Marlene Spruyt called for urgent action to address the nursing shortage crisis at a cross-party health-care summit this morning.

The summit included health-care leaders from organizations including the Ontario Nurses’ Association and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, along with Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca and Ontario NDP health care critic France Gélinas.

In September, the Ontario Greens released a comprehensive recruitment and retention plan to address the nursing shortage and wrote a letter to Premier Ford, urging him to take immediate action.

“The crisis situation Ontario finds itself in now is exactly what we were trying to avoid with our nursing recruitment and retention plan,” Spruyt said. “Nurses are burnt out and overworked and hospitals are under severe pressure.”

“But instead of taking the proper steps to address the nursing shortage crisis, Doug Ford thumbed his nose at our proposals.”

The Ontario Greens’ plan includes recalling the legislature to immediately repeal Bill 124 and fast-tracking internationally educated nurses.

There are currently 15,000 internationally educated registered nurses waiting to be approved to work in Ontario — but they’re stuck in the lengthy qualification process.

Other key measures in the Ontario Greens’ plan include:

  • Implementing a program to pay all nurses an additional $5 an hour if they are working on a short-staffed unit or department (10 or fewer scheduled nurses
  • Bolstering admissions to nursing baccalaureate programs by 10 per cent in each of the next four years and increase the supply of Nurse Practitioners by over 50 per cent by 2030, as per RNAO’s recommendation
  • Making pandemic pay permanent for all nurses
  • Providing guaranteed access to mental health services for all nurses

Dr. Spruyt also brought up the important issue of wage parity across health care during the summit.

“We don’t have a health care system in Ontario,” Dr. Spruyt said. “We have a number of health care sectors that are siloed. We need to reimagine health care in Ontario to be more comprehensive and wholistic.”

“And that includes wage parity to avoid a revolving door of workers moving from one underpaid sector to another.”

You can find the Ontario Greens’ full nursing nursing recruitment and retention plan here.


Media Contact:

Darren Elias, Press Secretary

Green Party of Ontario