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QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement on Nurses Week and Nurses Day:

“While it was already evident before, the pandemic has highlighted just how indispensable nurses are.

They protect our loved ones, treat the sick and care for the elderly.

But Premier Ford has abandoned nurses, capping their wages and ignoring their mental health needs.

He might call them ‘champions’, but he certainly doesn’t treat them like that.

The mental health of Ontario’s nurses is in a precarious state.

A recent poll of registered practical nurses across the province shows that more than half of those surveyed said they were coping ‘poorly’ or ‘extremely poorly’ at work over the past year of the pandemic.

And 60 per cent of nurses working in long-term care homes with large outbreaks reported they were experiencing symptoms of PTSD.

Yet 67% of nurses surveyed say they don’t have access to the mental health support they need.

What does it say about us as a province if we can’t even protect those that protect us?

I’m calling on the Premier to treat nurses like the heroes they are and:

  • provide nurses guaranteed access to mental health support
  • immediately fully vaccinate all nurses
  • make pandemic pay permanent for RPNs
  • repeal Bill 124 which freezes nurses pay

The time to act is now. Ontario needs to support its nurses and provide them with the support and wages they deserve.”

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