Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


RNAO’s ongoing media profile: The June 2022 edition

This month, RNAO was featured in stories about the provincial election, the Ontario government’s decision to lift masking mandates and a care strategy for seniors. 

On June 2, Doug Ford was re-elected as premier with the PC Party of Ontario forming a majority government. Ahead of election day, RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun joined a panel discussion on ZoomerTV that included former politicians and public affairs experts to talk about the election and changes needed in the province. Grinspun highlighted some of the key issues related to nursing, including unfair wage-restraint legislation – Bill 124 – and the critical need to integrate internationally educated nurses (IENs) into the health system faster and more efficiently. Grinspun said the government must ensure that regulatory bodies fix their application process to allow IENs to enter the workforce in a reasonable amount of time. On June 6, Grinspun told QP Briefing that she was hopeful Premier Ford will repeal Bill 124 to retain nurses in the province. . RNAO is eager and ready to work with Premier Ford and his cabinet, and opposition MPPs to fasten a solution to the nursing crisis. 

On June 8, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore announced that most of the province’s mask mandates would be lifted on June 11, including in hospitals and other health settings, and public transit. They are still required in long-term care (LTC) and retirement homes. RNAO commends the many hospitals that have decided to keep their mask mandates in place. Grinspun told CP24 (June 8) that ending the mask mandate in most settings was the wrong decision. “To lift (the mask mandate) in hospitals is absolutely uncalled for. I am delighted that (most of) the hospitals are deciding to keep masks on.” In The Globe and Mail (June 8), RNAO’s then President, now Immediate-Past President Morgan Hoffarth shared concerns about how lifting mask mandates could cause  increased infection rates and staffing challenges: “We are already at a critical staffing shortage and we can’t afford to have any additional people off.” RNAO President Dr. Claudette Holloway told CTV News (June 11) that while she understands people are tired of COVID-19 and mask mandates, they need to hold on a little longer. “We have to remember that COVID is not gone and we need to do all we can to protect each other,” said Holloway. RNAO encourages all Ontarians to continue wearing a mask in indoor public settings. 

In a letter to the editor published in The Globe and Mail (June 2), Grinspun responded to a story about the main party leaders’ platform promises related to LTC. Grinspun highlighted the need for a comprehensive seniors’ care strategy in Ontario which must include expanding home care and allowing seniors living in LTC to receive sufficient nursing and personal care with the appropriate mix of NPs, RNs, RPNs and PSWs – as outlined in RNAO’s Nursing Home Basic Care Guarantee. “Seniors deserve timely access to high-quality, safe and dignified care,” said Grinspun. 

RNAO continues to speak out for health and for nursing through media interviews. In June, RNAO’s advocacy resulted in 77 hits. To explore media interviews related to COVID-19, visit the COVID-19 Portal’s press room

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