Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

There is no recovery from COVID-19 without A Just Recovery for All

In a letter sent on August 27, to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, cabinet ministers and federal party leaders, RNAO called for urgent action to tackle long-standing, profound inequities exacerbated by COVID-19. These inequities are now embodied in “A Just Recovery for All” -  the global social movement RNAO has embraced. 

COVID-19 made ready targets the most vulnerable Canadians, in particular, residents in Canada’s long term care facilities and persons experiencing homeless. It also highlighted the urgent need for a federal Chief Nursing Officer. In brief: 

  1. Protecting residents in long-term care homes must be immediately addressed through national standards of care. We urge our PM and MPs from all parties to put their support behind RNAO’s Nursing Home Basic Care Guarantee as a national standard in response to Canada’s crisis in the provision of safe care for Canada’s seniors residing in nursing homes.
  2. Persons experiencing homelessness are more vulnerable to illness and disease than the housed. Public health advice has reinforced the importance of housing as a defence against COVID-19. “Stay home, self-isolate, wash hands frequently,” has been the mantra for months. Yet each year, nearly 250,000 Canadians experience homelessness – 35,000 on any given night. Homelessness is the product of decades of public policy choices by all orders of government -- an unacceptable reality in a country as wealthy as Canada! RNAO  calls on our PM to adopt a community-based response to homelessness, which includes a basic income, housing, advocacy for homeless persons, a re-think of the financialization of rental housing markets, and a greater focus on an Indigenous housing and homeless strategy. Such a plan is consistent with A Just Recovery for All, makes economic sense, and will spur Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery by building housing infrastructure, creating jobs and saving taxpayers over $18 billion.
  3. Ensuring A Just Recovery also means accounting for the expertise of Canada’s largest health-care workforce: nurses. Calling nurses heroes, as it often happens during COVID-19, is not enough. On this, The Year of The Nurse and Midwife, RNAO urges our PM to reinstate the role of a national chief nursing officer. Such a position will enable greater and more strategic deployment of nurses in our health system, and an expanded scope of practice for nurses to support a strong health system anchored in primary care.

RNAO has outlined solutions to the challenges that are facing Canadians in these unprecedented times. It is calling for immediate action to address the multiple threats confronting the most vulnerable amongst us. We are asking that you too call on our PM to ensure that in his Speech from the Throne he advances “A Just Recovery for All” so everyone in our country can experience health, safety and security.

Read the full letter to the Prime Minister

Copies will be sent to the following:

  • The Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
  • The Hon. Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health
  • The Hon. Ahmed Hussen Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
  • Adam Vaughan, MP (Parliamentary Secretary, Housing)
  • Erin O’Toole, Leader of the Official Opposition
  • Matt Jeneroux, MP 
  • Stephanie Kusie, MP 
  • Jagmeet Singh, MP and Leader of the Federal NDP
  • Jenny Kwan, MP 
  • Don Davies, MP
  • Elizabeth May, MP and Parliamentary Leader of the Federal Green Party
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