Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Urgent Action Alert - Final Push for 3,000 Additional Nurses in the Budget




March 23, 2009




Two weeks ago, RNAO members responded to an urgent Action Alert calling for Premier McGuinty to make significant investments in the upcoming provincial budget to reduce poverty. Ontario’s nurses wrote convincingly of how, in tough economic times, they must act decisively to reduce poverty. Nurses know first-hand the close correlation between low income, food and shelter insecurity and chronic illness, poor health and premature death.


Last week, Premier McGuinty listened to the hundreds of groups and individuals who together, including nurses, had called for bold leadership to reduce poverty in this province.


On Friday, the government announced a badly-needed increase to the Ontario Child Benefit and funds to match federal infrastructure dollars to repair existing social housing. While there is still much that we hope to see in this week’s budget, including a $100 Healthy Food Supplement and help for low-income renters, this announcement will help many families hit hardest by the current recession.


There’s an important lesson in this welcome announcement. Your voice matters. Action alerts, where nurse leaders, nurses and students speak out for health, do make a difference!


In recent weeks, over 6,000 Ontario nurses and nursing students have written to Premier McGuinty urging him to keep his commitment to hire 9,000 additional nurses, including at least 3,000 in this Thursday’s provincial budget. While there is no question the budget must include an economic stimulus to get Ontario working again, it must also support the ever-increasing number of families coping with lay-offs and diminished savings. Tough economic times are exactly when government should build the health-care system, not cut. Hiring the promised nurses is the right thing to do, but it is also the key to a smart economic recovery plan.


So we ask you one more time. Please take a minute NOW and send one more message to the Premier. Remember, the budget is on Thursday, March 26 – don’t delay! Be one more voice that calls on the Premier to keep his commitment to hire additional 3,000 nurses --  for our patients, for new nursing graduates, for nurses we want to keep in the workforce, and for our health-care system. It really does make a difference!




1. WRITE TO PREMIER McGUINTY, with copies to Finance Minister Dwight Duncan and Health and Long-Term Care Minister David Caplan. You can send our sample letter below as is, or modify it as you wish. Add your insights about how the shortage of nurses may be affecting your community and why it is so important to include additional nurses in Thursday’s budget. Note that when you use the template below, copies automatically are sent to Ministers Duncan and Caplan.


2. EVEN IF YOU ALREADY WROTE TO THE PREMIER, YOU CAN WRITE AGAIN! Remember, every message makes a difference. Together we will ensure they listen.