QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to news that the government will not mandate vaccines for healthcare workers:
“Today’s announcement is a slap in the face to patients and their families who deserve to be safe, as well as to the vast majority of healthcare workers who have called for mandatory vaccines.
Instead of doing the right thing and mandating vaccines for healthcare workers, the Premier is endangering high-risk patients and increasing the risk of healthcare worker absenteeism due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
If the Premier cared about hospital staffing levels, he’d improve working conditions and pay starting with a repeal of Bill 124.
I wrote to the Premier weeks ago with a number of concrete solutions to increase retention and recruitment of nurses. But he failed to take the actions needed.
It’s a weak excuse from a government that has consistently delayed to do the right thing throughout the pandemic.
If we want to put the pandemic behind us, we need the government to put public health first and protect the most high-risk Ontarians. And I’m afraid that today’s announcement is a step backwards in our fight against COVID.“