Despite chilly conditions, nurses protest goes on in St. Catharines


Published February 23, 2023 at 3:23 pm

Members of the Ontario Nurses' Association march during a previous protest of the Ford government's Bill 124. (Photo: ONA)

Despite the chilly conditions following last night’s ice-storm, a healthy handful of local nurses picketed deteriorating conditions and wage freezes at the corners of Fourth Ave and Martindale Rd in St. Catharines earlier this afternoon (Feb. 23).

The local protest was part of a province-wide one set for today that saw 35 separate gatherings of nurses and health-care workers in front of hospitals and Conservative MPP offices across Ontario.

The Ontario Nurses’ Association, which represents 60,000 hospital-sector members, is asking the government to meet its demands of better staffing and an end to Bill 124.

Bill 124 controversially froze wage increases for nurses and other hospital staffers to just one per cent a year when the Conservatives passed it in November 2019, just prior to the pandemic.

“These pickets, held outside hospitals and Conservative MPPs’ offices, will show our unified voice and commitment to achieving a fair deal for Ontario’s nurses,” said the ONA in a release.

St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens was one of several MPPs to address the protests at Queen’s Park today.

“Nurses across Niagara are braving an ice storm today in St. Catharines to advocate for themselves”, said Stevens. “Their message is clear: It is time to stop calling nurses ‘heroes’, while supporting unconstitutional legislation that is wreaking havoc on the staffing crisis.”

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