Niagara Centre MPP said temporary closure of hospital caused by Bill 124

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Published October 7, 2022 at 10:32 am

Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch is once again asking the Province to repeal Bill 124.

The temporary closure of Port Colborne Hospital is a sign of the decaying hospital services province-wide after the passage of Bill 124, says the Niagara Centre MPP.

Jeff Burch, also the NDP’s Municipal Affairs Critic, slammed the Doug Ford government after the announcement from Niagara Health that the hospital would be closed from 4 p.m. on Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday.

“Twenty years ago I was standing outside of the Port Colborne Hospital to rally about the dangers of declining hospital services, closures and privatization,” said Burch.

“We were called alarmists and told it would never happen. Today Port Colborne only has urgent care, and that urgent care will be closed this weekend.”

The backlash from the government’s Bill 124, which locked health care workers into a maximum of one per cent pay hikes yearly (just prior to the pandemic) is coming back to haunt communities, Burch said.

“Ford’s wage restraint continues to fuel our hospital crisis, and his government stand’s idly by as the people of Port Colborne suffer the consequences.”

Again, Burch appealed to the government to yank the controversial bill. “Once again, I am urging the Ford Government to get to work and take the health care crisis seriously. We must immediately scrap Ford’s Bill 124, implement a funded return to nursing program, and treat our health care workers with the respect they deserve to keep them in the field.”

“We must be assured that what is happening in Port Colborne this weekend will not happen again – or is not already happening elsewhere.”
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