May 2 Federal election most significant in decades: Ontario Nurses urge Canadians to vote for party committed to strengthening Medicare
TORONTO, April 28, 2011 – Members of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) say Monday’s federal election is the most significant in decades and are urging all eligible Canadians to make sure they vote.
“This election has the potential to reshape our country and we want people to know that their voices count and must be heard,” says Doris Grinspun, executive director of RNAO. “The very fabric that holds Canada together and that’s admired in many other countries is at stake,” says Grinspun referring to Medicare. “Nurses know that a publicly funded and not-for-profit health-care system is the most effective and efficient way of providing care for everyone whether they live in a fishing village in Newfoundland, a remote First Nations community in northern Saskatchewan or downtown Toronto.” Grinspun says the federal government has a critical role to play in strengthening or dismantling this social fabric, and is urging the public to give their vote to the party that values Medicare.
The party that forms the next government will be tasked with renegotiating a new health accord before the current one expires in 2014. RNAO’s president David McNeil calls it a huge responsibility. “With leadership anchored in solid social values and political will, we’re confident a new long-term agreement can be reached. The choice will be between a federal government that provides funding to provinces and territories with no strings attached - leading to privatization; and a federal government that provides funding and will build on the existing system with cost effective solutions such as primary care for every Canadian, home care and a national pharmacare program,” says McNeil adding “these are the investments that nurses know will make our system stronger and ensure it’s there for us and for future generations.”
RNAO has prepared a summary of the major parties’ records and compares where they stand in several key areas. “The public, including nurses, will find our comparison useful because it tackles measures to strengthen our health-care system, including access to nursing services, as well as additional key factors that affect one’s ability to be healthy,” says McNeil referring to poverty, housing, child care and the environment. RNAO’s comparison can be found at: Compare Their Records: Where the Leaders and Political Parties Stand on Health and Health Care.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.
To arrange an interview with a nurse or for more information, please contact:
Director of Communications, RNAO
Cell: 647-406-5605 Phone: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext. 209