Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Action Alert – Tell Premier McGuinty that Ontario’s Patients Need More Nurses, Not More Cuts!


February 11, 2009




In tough economic times, nurses know that hiring additional nurses is a smart investment in the infrastructure of our public health-care system. By delaying his commitment to hire 9,000 additional nurses and cutting back on nursing positions and hours, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty risks losing nurses when the health-care system needs them the most. It’s bad for the economy. It’s devastating for patient care. It’s not the kind of bold leadership Ontario needs.


It is indisputable that Ontario faces a serious nursing shortage. From small rural communities to urban centres and across all sectors, nurses continue to bear the scars of destructive cuts in the late 1990’s when former Premier Mike Harris infamously likened nurses to “hula hoops”, a passing fad. When the McGuinty government promised to hire an additional 9,000 nurses by 2011, it was because that number – including at least 3,000 in the upcoming provincial budget – is essential for a health-care system to function.


So why is the government talking about cutting nurse positions and valuable hours of patient care? Why is Premier McGuinty considering breaking his commitment to hire the 9,000 additional nurses our health-care system needs? How can the government justify sending a damaging signal to the existing nursing workforce, to new nursing graduates and to potential nursing students?


RNAO says the answer is not the economic downturn, as serious as it is. Cutting current and future nursing positions is absolutely the wrong strategy in challenging economic times.


RNAO says the answer is that once again nurses are at risk of becoming pawns in government cost-cutting.


RNAO and all Ontario’s nurses must not allow this to happen. More than ever before nurses must speak with one voice and loudly proclaim – in the name of quality patient care – that balancing budgets on the backs of nurses and health care is WRONG!


Here is what we need you to do:


Contact Premier Dalton McGuinty through our website and make contact with your local MPP. In several weeks Finance Minister Dwight Duncan will introduce the government’s 2009 budget. It is not too late to make a difference. You can send our sample letter as is or modify it as you wish. A copy of your letter will also be sent automatically to Finance Minister Duncan and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care David Caplan. Please make sure to sign your name and RN title at the bottom of the letter.



More information:


RNAO Action Alert – Tell Premier McGuinty to Fund 3,000 Additional Nurses and 10 NP-Led Clinics in 2009 Budget (January 29, 2009)


Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) – Cutting Nurses Cutting Care Campaign