Sol Mamakwa MPP, Kiiwetinoong

Government of Ontario

Government votes against more nurses and doctors in Northern Ontario

Published on March 24, 2022

SAULT STE. MARIE – Michele McCleave-Kennedy, NDP candidate for Sault Ste. Marie, said it’s shameful that Ross Romano voted down a motion that would have provided more doctors and nurses for families in Sault Ste. Marie and across Northern Ontario.

“It’s unforgivable that Ross Romano voted no on a plan to hire at least 300 doctors for Northern Ontario. Sault Ste. Marie alone needs at least 20 more doctors to fill the shortage to meet the needs of families here. People are waiting nearly five hours in the emergency room to see a doctor, yet Romano stood in the Ontario legislature and voted against a plan specifically tailored to fix the shortage of doctors and health care workers in Northern Ontario,” said McCleave-Kennedy.

The motion was tabled by Andrea Horwath and voted on at Queen’s Park Wednesday March 23. The motion did not pass — 23 MPPs voted yes and 34 voted no, including Romano (Sault Ste. Marie) and Greg Rickford (Kenora—Rainy River).

“Northerners have been subjected to 15 years of Liberal government cuts to our health care, and Doug Ford and Ross Romano’s cuts will only make the health care staffing crisis worse. They have broken our health care system and they have time and time again refused to fix it," said McCleave-Kennedy.

"I’m so proud that the NDP put this motion forward. The Conservatives blocked it this week — but working together with Andrea Horwath as premier, I know we’re going to start to fix it, and finally give Northern Ontario the attention and fair share of services our families all deserve.”

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath was recently in Sault Ste. Marie to listen to families, patients and frontline health care workers, and commit to fixing the chronic shortage of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals in the North.

Horwath’s motion would have funded a plan to attract, train and retain nurses, physicians, and specialists in Northern Ontario, further expand the number of seats and training opportunities at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and the repeal of Ford’s low-wage policy, Bill 124. The NDP also committed to fixing the Northern Health Travel Grant for times when families do have to travel to get the care they need and deserve.