Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Nurses take Federal Opposition Leader Stéphane Dion and Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman to see Sicko


TORONTO – August 16, 2007 – It’s not every day that nurses take politicians to the movies, but members of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) are so committed to protecting Canada’s universal health-care system that this afternoon they’ll be taking several political leaders to see Sicko, a documentary which examines the human costs of the U.S. health-care system.

Canada’s official Opposition Leader Stéphane Dion and members of his team, as well as Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman, will join registered nurses working in various roles and sectors to watch the movie. Following the viewing, politicians and nurses will hold a round-table discussion to talk about the importance of preserving our patient-centred, non-profit health care system.

“We can’t forget how much Canadians need and value the Medicare system established by Tommy Douglas. Nurses’ knowledge, expertise and compassion are central to the system, so it makes sense for nurses to remind politicians of the dangers of taking any steps that move us toward an American-style health care system,” says Mary Ferguson-Paré, RNAO’s President.

“We’re very pleased that Mr. Dion and members of his team, as well as Minister Smitherman, have accepted our invitation to see Sicko. We have issued invitations to all political parties – federally and in Ontario - because political leaders hold the future of Medicare in their hands. If any politicians ever doubted the merits of the Canadian health system or wondered if we’d benefit from for-profit health care, this film will bring a healthy dose of reality,” says Executive Director Doris Grinspun, adding that “Medicare is Canada’s most cherished public program and nurses are committed to protecting and enhancing it.”

WHAT:     Sicko matinee and roundtable discussion on health care

WHERE:  Cumberland Four Theatre
                  159 Cumberland Street (Avenue Road and Bloor)

WHEN:    Thursday, August 16

  • 13:00 Nurses, Mr. Dion and members of his team, and Minister Smitherman arrive at theatre
  • 15:30 Media availability – Village of Yorkville Park (known as The Rock) – on Cumberland Street, a three-minute walk from the theatre
  • 15:45 Mr. Dion departs for roundtable at RNAO office - 158 Pearl Street (2 blocks west of University Avenue and 1 block north of King Street)
  • 16:00 Mr. Dion arrives at RNAO office for roundtable
  • 17:00 Roundtable discussion ends


  • Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada Stéphane Dion and several other Liberal MPs
  • Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman
  • Members of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario is the professional association representing registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied 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.


For more information, please contact:
Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Phone: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext.209
Cell: 647-406-5605