May 11th, 2022

Horwath's NDP will immediately scrap Bill 124, end Doug Ford’s low-wage policy

TORONTO – If elected, Andrea Horwath’s NDP will end Doug Ford’s low-wage policy, Bill 124, and show nurses the respect they deserve by fixing the massive staffing shortage affecting Ontario hospitals, and the entire health care system.

On Tuesday, during National Nursing Week, NDP candidates stood with nurses in Toronto to deliver that commitment.

“On behalf of Andrea Horwath and the NDP, we’re celebrating National Nursing Week by promising to immediately get rid of Bill 124 as soon as we get into the legislature,” said Bhutila Karpoche, the NDP candidate for Parkdale-High Park.

“Nurses and all health care workers deserve better than to be run off their feet, unable to deliver the best possible care, getting more run down and burnt out day after day. They deserve better than to be called heroes, but instead treated like they don’t deserve decent pay and good working conditions. Scrapping Bill 124 is an NDP priority — because we have to do that in order to start fixing the massive staffing crisis in our health care system. We need to retain, recruit and return health care workers with good working conditions, fair wages, and a reasonable workload.”

Doug Ford’s government passed Bill 124 in 2019, forcing the wages of all provincial employees down below inflation. The former Liberal government did the same with Bill 115, imposing contracts on all education workers. The courts have ruled that this was unconstitutional, and forced Ontario to pay a whopping $100-million penalty.

“Throughout this pandemic, nurses and health care workers have selflessly and tirelessly cared for people, while also being forced to fight for the health care workers around them to be given proper PPE and other infection protections. Doug Ford’s Bill 124 has had a financial, physical and mental impact on nurses and health care workers. Many have already left the profession, and more are on their way out. That’s why nurses are calling for a commitment to repeal Bill 124 as a first step to fix the nursing shortage,” said Angela Preocanin, First Vice-President of the Ontario Nurses Association.

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