Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Nurses can help you breathe easier

Helping Ontarians breathe easier has always been a key objective of RNAO’s advocacy work.

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects millions of Canadians. In fact, roughly 500 people die from the disease every year.

In order to help asthma sufferers maintain their quality of life, RNAO released two best practice guidelines (BPG): Promoting Asthma Control in Children and Adult Asthma Care Guidelines for Nurses: Promoting Control of Asthma. Both documents arm nurses with information to provide to patients that will help them control their asthma.

In addition to publishing its clinical BPGs, the association has also staunchly opposed coal-fired power plants.

Ontario used to generate a good chunk of its power from coal plants located in Lambton and Nanticoke. The plants used to belch toxins into the air, such as mercury and lead, which can cause asthma attacks.

According to statistics from the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, pollution from coal-fired generated electricity caused over 300 deaths in the province in 2010, and resulted in 440 hospital admissions, 522 emergency room visits and 158,000 minor illnesses such as asthma attacks. In that same year, RNAO teamed up with Canadian Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) and the Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) for a postcard campaign. Thousands of postcards with the tagline “Coal is costing us the air we breathe” were sent to all three provincial parties.

From 2010 to 2014, RNAO held numerous meetings with the Ministry of the Environment, and issued media releases and action alerts to press its point.

The last generating station to use coal was shut down in Thunder Bay in April 2014, making the province the first jurisdiction in North America to fully eliminate coal as a source of electricity generation.

We believe our advocacy helped achieve this environmental milestone.

RNAO believes green-energy solutions are the way to go: natural gas, solar and wind power are cleaner, greener alternatives.