TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2015 /CNW/ - A return to reliable data is being hailed by Ontario registered nurses (RN), nurse practitioners (NP), and nursing students after the Liberal government followed through on an election pledge Thursday and announced it is reinstating the long-form census.
"We've long known that the information that was collected by Statistics Canada was both necessary and invaluable for health and health-care planning," says Vanessa Burkoski, president of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) applauding the decision.
The mandatory long-form census was scrapped by Stephen Harper's government in 2010 in favour of a less reliable, voluntary survey. The decision at the time prompted huge outcry and opposition from RNAO and from other health professionals as well as academics, researchers and business groups.
RNAO's advocacy on the issue was so strong it backed a private member's bill led by Ted Hsu, a Liberal MP, to reinstate the long-form in January 2015. More than 1,500 RNs, NPs and nursing students sent letters to then Minister of Industry James Moore urging the federal government to bring back the long-form census. However, the bill failed to pass in parliament.
Doris Grinspun, RNAO's chief executive officer says she is delighted "our new federal government recognizes the centrality of restoring the census," adding that "you can't create sound health and social policies if you don't have sound information about people and communities across this country," says Grinspun. She emphasizes that the ability to collect data on the rich and poor is vital to set healthy public policy for the nation.
Given RNAO's strong advocacy on the issue, Grinspun was approached by a group called Our Right to Know and asked to participate in a video campaign about the importance of science during the recent federal election.
This year marks the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario's (RNAO) 90th anniversary. RNAO is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses' contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit RNAO.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
SOURCE Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario
For further information: or to arrange an interview with a nurse, please contact: Marion Zych, Director of Communications, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO), 416-408-5605 (office), 647-406-5605 (cellular)