RNs kick-start 2011 provincial election with release of comprehensive policy
recommendations for creating vibrant communities

TORONTO, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - A provincial election may be 20 months away but Ontario nurses kick-started the campaign today by unveiling a set of comprehensive policy recommendations it wants provincial political parties to adopt when developing their platforms.

The report titled Creating Vibrant Communities: RNAO's Challenge to Ontario's Political Parties was released at Queen's Park by the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO). "The province is at a critical juncture," explains President Wendy Fucile. "The effects of the recession make this election even more important because nurses know from their practice that many things affect one's ability to be healthy. Tackling poverty and creating a cleaner environment, for example, are essential. We also have important recommendations to strengthen our health-care system and improve access to nursing services."

RNAO's report outlines recommendations in six key areas:

    Strengthening Social Determinants, Equity and Healthy Communities
    -   Implement the Poverty Reduction Plan with multi-year sustainable
    -   Immediately increase the minimum wage to $13.25
    -   Transform the province's social assistance system
    -   Fast-track the provincial housing plan
    -   Implement the recommendations of Charles Pascal's report: With Our
        Best Future in Mind

    Building Sustainable, Green Communities
    -   Adopt achievable targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions
    -   Commit to aggressive targets that would increase the green share of
    -   Commit to terminating all coal burning at Ontario's power plants by

    Enhancing Medicare
    -   Enforce the Canada Health Act and the principle of a single-tier,
        not-for-profit health care system
    -   Establish 50 additional Nurse Practitioner-led clinics
    -   Increase investment in home care services
    -   Legislate and fund a daily of minimum of four hours of direct nursing
        and personal care for residents of long-term care homes

    Improving Access to Nursing Services
    -   Commit to increasing Ontario's RN workforce by an additional 9,000
    -   Commit to achieving 70 per cent full-time employment for all nurses
        in all sectors
    -   Expand the roles of NPs and RNs
    -   Develop a health human resources strategy specifically for rural and
        northern communities

    Building a Nursing Career in Ontario
    -   Increase first-year nursing admissions by 500
    -   Continue full funding of the Nursing Graduate Guarantee
    -   Develop a mid-career nursing strategy
    -   Commit to expansion of the Late Career Nurse Initiative

    Embracing our Democracy and Strengthening Public Services
    -   Ensure fiscal capacity to deliver essential health, social and
        environment services by building a more progressive tax system
    -   Reject the sale of publicly owned crown corporations such as Hydro
        One, Ontario Power Generation, Ontario Lottery and Gaming and the
    -   Introduce a carbon tax

RNAO's Executive Director Doris Grinspun says nurses are aware of the fiscal realities but past deficits in the 1990s lead to cost-cutting agendas that affected the lives of thousands of Ontarians from people on social assistance to nurses and other public sector workers. "We can't go back to those days. We have to look ahead and build the kind of society in which no one is left behind. Vibrant communities are built on the ideas in this report. We know this can be done and we want to inspire bold leadership from the political party that wants to form the next government."

The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied 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 Queen's Park Day or RNAO, visit our website at www.rnao.org. You can also check out our Facebook page at www.rnao.org/facebook and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rnao.

SOURCE Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

For further information: For further information: Marion Zych, Director of Communications, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO), Phone: (647) 406-5605 - cellular, (416) 408-5605 - office

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890