TORONTO, Aug. 23 /CNW/ - Today, the McGuinty government's announcement
that it will stock pile N95 respirators and mandate the use of safety
engineered needles in health care facilities is a positive step forward in
protecting the health and safety of Ontario health care workers, according to
Sharleen Stewart, president of Service Employees International Union,
Local 1.on, a union that represents over 43,000 health care workers across
"What is bothersome, however, is that the McGuinty government, by only
making safe needles mandatory starting in September 2008, speaks volumes of
how much it is really committed to health workers' safety. What the government
is really saying is health care workers lives only have value if they vote
Liberal," Stewart said.
The McGuinty government has had ample time to introduce safe needles
legislation over the past four years. It has refused to pass the Safer Needles
Save Lives Act twice. Justice Campbell's SARS report recommendations of three
years ago have not been acted on, let alone his second set of recommendations
made last January.
Ontario health care unions, (SEIU Local 1.on, ONA, OPSEU) have over the
life of this government lobbied for safe needles legislation. Until today's
announcement the government's response has been that the province could not
"SEIU is grateful for the safe needles promise but it is only a promise.
To hold the threat over health care workers lives that if they do not vote
Liberal, these promises will not be fulfilled is simply another McGuinty
exercise in renting health care workers' votes."
For further information:
For further information: Sharleen Stewart - (905) 660-1800 Ext. 308;
John Van Beek - (416) 805-0670 (Cell)