January 20th, 2022

Horwath joins unions, frontline workers to fight for urgent action on Omicron health crisis

QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is joining frontline workers in health care, long-term care, education, and other sectors to fight for urgent action to protect people and the health care system from the Omicron wave.

Horwath joined with the leadership of the Ontario Federation of Labour, Ontario Nurses’ Association, Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees to endorse calls to action — which have been signed on to by more than 30 public and private sector Ontario unions representing more than one million workers. She released the following statement:

“Everyone deserves excellent health care without delays. They deserve for home care and long-term care to protect them and protect their quality of life. Education workers, teachers and families deserve to be safe. We all deserve a government doing everything it can to protect us from COVID.

Today, Ontario is in a full-blown public health care crisis. Health care workers burnt out and exhausted, getting sick at an alarming rate, and leaving the field in droves under a government that has shown they’re no friend to working people. Half of all LTC homes in outbreak, and at least 4,000 frontline workers have COVID right now. Doug Ford has rationed COVID testing, and stopped testing, tracing and reporting COVID in schools.

The system is just not there for our families the way it needs to be. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have a loved one suffer a medical emergency right now.

I want to thank the OFL and Ontario’s public and private sector unions for being leaders in the fight to protect people’s health. They fought hospital funding freezes and nurse cuts under the Liberals, and they’re fighting Doug Ford’s public health cuts today.

I’m standing with Ontario’s unions and more than a million frontline workers in health care, long-term care, education and other sectors to call for action. It’s time to work with frontline workers, unions and experts to build a strategy to staff up, to invest in paid sick days and N95s to protect workers, to value frontline heroes properly and ditch Ford’s low-wage policy. It’s time to rebuild our world-class public, universal health care system so it can be there for all our families.”