Richmond Hill, Ontario — Today’s Ontario budget is a disappointment for healthcare workers and patients across the province.

As Premier Ford’s legal pursuit to defend Bill 124 continues, there is no new money to raise the minimum wage for registered practical nurses to $35 per hour. No commitment from the province to accept its share of the federal government’s investment of $1.7 billion to raise the minimum wage for all personal support workers to $25 per hour. No new money for health service workers. And no support for workers who care for adults with autism in group homes who continue to go without WSIB.

“The Ford government seems to have learned nothing from the pandemic. Cancelling sick days is cruel and will leave precariously employed healthcare workers without a safety net and destabilize the especially exploited home care workforce,” said Sharleen Stewart, president of SEIU Healthcare. “Families should be alarmed that healthcare services in the province will get worse with this budget, not better.”

At a time when the Financial Accountability Officer reveals that Ontario will be short 33,000 nurses and PSWs in five years, this budget has a meagre commitment to keep 100 late career nurses in the workforce.