Ford government scandals and problems

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Protests by nurses against the inhumane conditions have spread across the province as the Ford government fails to deal with Covid effectively and their working conditions. 

Eastern Ontario health-care workers are speaking up about demoralizing work conditions following a wave of protests against COVID-19 vaccines and mandatory vaccination policies — including one last week outside The Ottawa Hospital's Civic campus.

Protestors clustered outside the Carling Avenue entrance to the hospital's emergency department on Sept. 1, but unlike elsewhere in the country, neither police nor the hospital reported any harassment or obstruction of emergency services.

Most other hospitals across the region were untouched by protests, although a spokesperson for the Kingston General Hospital said a similar demonstration is planned to go ahead there on Tuesday.

Even so, health-care workers like Leslie-Anne McDonald said the protests have an "enormous" impact, both on caregivers and patients.

"You question your profession and if you should be in it," said McDonald, a nurse at the cardiac rehabilitation program in Cornwall, Ont. "I have, anyway, for the first time."

Emergency room volumes in eastern Ontario are higher than would be expected for this time of year, said Alan Drummond, an emergency and family physician in Perth, Ont.

Drummond, who is also chair of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, said staffing shortages that predate the pandemic have made it difficult for workers to cope with the increased patient volume. 

The Gatineau Hospital emergency room, for example, closed in late June due to a nursing shortage....

Workers are also experiencing increased verbal and physical abuse on the job, Drummond said, with many reevaluating their careers.

"We're probably at a tipping point, which is why these protests aren't exactly welcome," he said. "It's just disheartening and demoralizing, frankly, to see these protests going on." ...

Staff shortages and burnout are problems outside the region as well, said Ivy Bourgeault, a professor at the University of Ottawa and director of the Canadian Health Workforce Network.

"The first, second, third, and fourth waves now have had a cumulative impact on the exhaustion of health workers, who already had endemic levels of burnout prior to the pandemic," said Bourgeault. "Things were awful, and got atrocious."


The nurses protests in Ontario over burnout from Covid and the resulting mass resignations and retirement reducing staffing continued in Toronto today. 

They’re saving lives during COVID-19. Now, these nurses are insisting on support as they work under intolerable conditions

Nurses from across the Greater Toronto Area gathered at Yonge and Dundas Square Thursday in scrubs, masks, gloves and face shields to demand that that the government take their job concerns, especially legislation limiting their pay, seriously. 

In 2019, the Ford administration passed Bill 124, limiting wage increases for many healthcare workers to a maximum of one per cent total compensation for three years.


Toronto has joined others in calling for Ford government to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for eligible schoolchildren. By failing to do so Ford is putting these children at risk. 

Eager to safeguard a so far successful return of kids to class, Toronto is adding its voice to demands that the Ford government make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for eligible students.

On Monday, public health chief Dr. Eileen de Villa will ask Toronto’s public health board to endorse her call to get COVID-19 added to Ontario’s list of nine diseases, including mumps and diphtheria, against which students must be vaccinated.

Health board chair Coun. Joe Cressy said the move is vital to ensure the virus’s virulent Delta variant doesn’t get a bigger foothold and trigger mass outbreaks that would close schools and threaten renewed lockdown.

“This doesn’t even need to be legislated — Ontario’s minister of health can sign off on this today,” Cressy told the Star, adding only the province, not the city or local school boards, has the power to add compulsory vaccinations for school kids.

“Given the urgency of both keeping schools open and as safe as possible, I see no cause for delay given that the science is clear on this one,” he said.

“This shouldn’t be a controversial subject — we already require nine vaccines, this one should be added right away.”

While some health experts worry adding COVID-19 to the mandatory list could antagonize vaccine-hesitant parents and make them less open to persuasion, University of Toronto’s Dr. Anna Banerji said the jabs should be compulsory.

“We have vaccines for diphtheria, diseases that are very rare, so why not ensure vaccination against COVID-19 in the middle of the pandemic’s fourth wave when we’re trying to keep kids in school?” said Banerji, an infectious disease expert at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.