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Listen to Workers, Cancel Bill 124
Écouter les travailleurs, annuler le projet de loi 124

September 6, 2022

Listen to Workers, cancel Bill 124 and stop privatizing our health care system

Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas rose is the legislature this morning to share her observations from yesterday’s Labour day celebrations at Morel Park in Sudbury.

Speaker, yesterday was the perfect day to join the labour day celebrations in Sudbury. A big thank you to Jessica Montgomery and the whole team at the Sudbury and District Labour Council for a well organized and fun event. Thank you to the hundreds of people who join us with their families and friends.

Lots of education and health care workers came out and they had a clear united message for this government:

1- Repeal bill 124. It is illegal, discriminatory, disrespectful and it demoralized our tired and burned-out health care heroes.
2- Make PSWs a career with permanent FT job, with good pay, benefits, sick days and a pension plan so we can ensure quality home and community care and Long-Term Care
3- Stop the privatization of Ontario health care system

Many labour retiree were there, some quite elderly; they are scared. Bill 7 is causing seniors to second guess whether they should go to the emergency room when they are sick in fear of ending up being labelled ALC. Bill 7 takes the rights of frail elderly people away and allows the government to move them to a Long Term Care home focused on profit, not on quality care. In Northern Ontario being transfer to a LTC home away from home means a lot of hardship for elders and their family.

Everyone at the labour day celebrations agreed; Solidarity is the way forward and the NDP will always stand in solidarity with workers. Solidarity Forever.”

Don’t Force Seniors into Long Term Care
Ne forcent pas les personnes âgées à se tourner vers les soins de longue durée

September 1, 2022

Care for seniors at home, don’t force them into substandard LTC

The Ford government should be improving homecare not forcing seniors into term care facilities far away from their circle of care and their families said MPP France Gélinas (Nickel Belt) during question period.

“The government is attacking senior’s fundamental right to give consent, forcing them into long-term care facilities far away from their loved ones, but they continue to ignore the failures in our home care system. Most alternate level of care patients in our hospitals aren’t waiting for a long-term care bed they are waiting for home care.

But the wait lists for home care have tripled under the Ford Government.

Why is the government overriding people’s rights to give consent when they have not made any improvements to the home care system that would allow frail, elderly people to stay in their homes safely and respectfully?’’

Yesterday, the Ford government’s Bill 7 passed third reading. This bill which “authorizes certain actions to be carried out without the consent of these patients… having a placement co-ordinator… select a home and authorize their admission to the home.” Numerous organizations including the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly and the Alzheimer’s Society have spoken out asking the government to withdraw this legislation which may override of patient rights.

“The government is threatening seniors with massive fees and forcing them away from their families when they should be fixing our home care system. Instead, wait lists are growing and home care workers are leaving the sector.

Speaker 90% of Ontario seniors want to age at home not in a LTC home.

This government could bring 10,000 workers back to the job they love by mandating home care providers offer 70% permanent Full-time jobs, well paid, with benefits, sick days and a pension plan. Why is this government standing by while private for profit home care providers fail more frail elderly people each and every day?”

Bill 7: Bullying People into Long Term Care Homes they don’t want
Projet de loi 7 : Intimider les gens dans les foyers de soins de longue durée dont ils ne veulent pas

August 31, 2022

Bill 7 is a scheme to bully people into LTC homes they don’t want to go to

Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas released the following statement in response to the passage of Bill 7, Doug Ford’s legislation forcing people waiting in hospitals to move to a long-term care home they don’t want to go to:

“I cannot tell you how upsetting it is to see Bill 7 pass third reading. This bill that will take away the rights of frail, elderly people to consent to treatment. This is a right that we all have. When dealing with a health professional you always have a right to consent or the right not to consent; under this bill, frail, elderly people don’t matter, their consent doesn’t matter.

If Mr. Ford really wanted to fix hallways healthcare, he could fix homecare immediately by ensuring home care providers provide 70% permanent, full-time jobs, well paid with benefits, sick time and a pension plan, and problem solved. Tens of thousands of PSWs will come back to do what they like to do, to do what they’re good at doing, caring for people at home.

Unfortunately, the government doesn’t want to listen to any of this. The government wants to send elderly people away from their families. In the north, it will be hundreds of kilometres away to a for profit home that hasn’t been renovated in 50 years, with one bathroom per floor; how can the government vote in favour of this?

This decision is inhumane. It’s never too late to tear up this bad legislation and save families the pain of having their loved ones forced into long-term care homes they don’t want to go to.”

Protect Vulnerable Health Care Workers
Protéger les travailleurs et travailleuses de la santé vulnérables

August 29, 2022

Ford Government must take action to protect vulnerable health care workers

The Ford government should be actively protecting front line healthcare workers said MPP France Gélinas (Nickel Belt) during question period.

“The level of violence in our health care system is through the roof. It is a huge contributor to health care workers walking away from their job. One in two health care workers faces violence or harassment at work. Two-thirds of nurses facing violence at work are thinking of quitting their job.

What is the government doing to make sure nurses are free from violence and harassment at work?’’

As emergency room wait times continue to rise, Ontario’s patients are frustrated and taking out their anger on front line staff. According to recent polling by Oracle Research on behalf of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) there is a disturbing surge in physical and sexual violence against the women who make up 85% of hospital workers. The poll found that 60% of HSN (and northern Ontario) respondents experienced physical violence. 65% have witnessed an increase in violent incidences during the COVID-19 pandemic. 53% report feeling depressed and emotionally exhausted because of the overall conditions at work.

‘I introduced Bill 11 Speaking out about, and reporting on workplace violence and harassment. The bill would protect nurses, health care workers and other workers from an employer’s reprisal if they speak out about violence and harassment in their workplace. It would require hospitals and long-term-care homes to publicly report on workplace violence and harassment on a monthly basis.

Is the government ready to start protecting health care workers and support the solutions presented in my bill?”

Minister of Labour, Monte McNaughton ignored Gélinas plea and pointed to the government’s hiring of 100 new health and safety inspectors as adequate to protect Ontario’s health care heroes.

Childcare Commitment-Broken Promise
Engagement en matière de garde d’enfants – promesse non tenue

August 25, 2022

Childcare Commitment Another Broken Promise

France Gélinas MPP for Nickel Belt made a statement Thursday morning on the challenges Nickel Belt residents are facing due to inadequate childcare services.

“My constituents in Nickel Belt continue to wait for this government to follow through on their commitment to provide affordable childcare spaces.

Parents like Janelle, from Chelmsford in my riding. Janelle has had her child on the registry since April last year, over 16 months ago now, and has yet to find a childcare spot. This young mom travels from the North end of greater Sudbury to the west end and has applied to 10 different childcare centres. Yet, she is still empty handed. Her maternity leave end in September, she wants to go back to work but can not do that without childcare for her baby.

KG from Hanmer is a Registered Nurse. Her two young children are on multiple waitlists, her son is number 4 on the list but her daughter is on page two. She would accepts driving to two different day cares, twice a day, every day so she can get back to caring for patients. Her maternity leave is done, she wants to get back to work; she is very much needed as a nurse, but she cannot go back to work until she finds childcare for both of her children.

Yesterday the government stated, “every job that sits unfilled hurts Ontario’s economy”.

Well Speaker, these are just two, of the thousands of professional jobs across our province, that are unfilled because this government won’t follow through on the commitments to deliver childcare to the working parents of Ontario.”

A Plan to Retain, Recruit & Hire Nurses
Un plan pour retenir, recruter et embaucher des infirmières

August 2022

France stood with the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) President Cathryn Hoy in August to call attention to the nurses staffing shortages and also tabled a Motion at Queen’s Park, with a plan to retain, recruit and hire nurses across the province.

Anti-Scab Bill Introduced
Projet de loi anti-briseurs de grève

April 29, 2022

MPPs Jamie West & France Gélinas introduce Anti-Scab bill

On the afternoon of April 28th MPP France Gélinas (Nickel Belt) co-sponsored An Act to amend the Labour Relations Act, 1995 with MPP Jamie West (Sudbury) in the Ontario legislature in honour of former NDP MPP Peter Kormos and in solidarity with every worker who has ever walked a picket line where replacement workers were allowed to cross.

“As the NDP Labour Critic from 2001 to 2011 Peter proudly introduced anti-scab legislation in every legislative session. I have introduced this bill many times, the last time on March 30th 2018 at the beginning of the 42nd session” Gélinas stated. “In the fall of 2021 Mr. Ford’s government prorogued the legislature. Today was the last chance to put this anti-scab bill on the order paper for the 2nd session of the 42nd parliament so that the message is clear, nothing good comes from the use of replacement workers.”

An Act to amend the Labour Relations Act, 1995 would prohibit the use of replacement workers during a strike or lockout, except in the case of emergencies. Mr. Kormos was known around Ontario as a champion of working class people and collective bargaining. “Scabs, union busters, hired goons and other thugs … earn their pay by busting unions and breaking up union drives.” Mr. Kormos once stated, “To allow corporate bosses to circumvent, to avoid, collective bargaining at the table by importing scabs is an outrage.”

“My community still bears the scars from workers in Sudbury and Nickel Belt being locked out for almost a year during the 2010 USW strike” MPP Jamie West added. “If the company was prohibited from using replacement workers, an agreement would have been reached much sooner.”

Former MPP Peter Kormos passed away at his Welland home March 30th 2013, he was 60 years old.

Le 28 avril, 2022

Les députés West et Gélinas déposent un projet de loi anti-briseurs de grève

Dans l’après-midi du 28 avril, la députée de Nickel Belt, France Gélinas et le député de Sudbury, Jamie West ont déposé le projet de Loi modifiant la Loi de 1995 sur les relations de travail à l’Assemblée législative de l’Ontario. Ce projet de loi est en l’honneur de l’ancien député néo-démocrate Peter Kormos et en solidarité avec tous les travailleurs et travailleuses qui ont été sur une ligne de piquetage où des travailleurs de remplacement ont été autorisés à traverser.

« En tant que porte-parole du NPD en matière de travail de 2001 à 2011, Peter a fièrement présenté une loi anti-briseurs de grève à chaque session législative. J’ai déposé ce projet de loi plusieurs fois, dont le 30 mars 2018 au début de la 42e session », a déclaré Gélinas. « À l’automne 2021, le gouvernement de M. Ford a prorogé la législature. Aujourd’hui, c’était la dernière chance d’inscrire ce projet de loi anti-briseurs de grève au feuilleton de la 2e session de la 42e législature afin que le message soit clair, rien de bon ne vient de l’utilisation de travailleurs de remplacement. »

La Loi modifiant la Loi de 1995 sur les relations de travail interdirait le recours à des travailleurs de remplacement pendant une grève ou un lock-out, sauf en cas d’urgence. M. Kormos était connu partout en Ontario comme un champion de la classe ouvrière et de la négociation collective. “Les briseurs de grève, les briseurs de syndicats, les hommes de main et autres voyous… gagnent leur salaire en démantelant les syndicats et en brisant les campagnes syndicales.” M. Kormos a déclaré un jour : « Permettre aux patrons d’entreprise de contourner, d’éviter la table de négociations en important des briseurs de grève est un scandale. »

« Ma communauté porte encore les cicatrices des travailleurs de Sudbury et de Nickel Belt qui ont été en grève pendant près d’un an avec les Métallos en 2010 », a ajouté le député West. “S’il avait été interdit à l’entreprise d’utiliser des travailleurs de remplacement, un accord aurait été conclu beaucoup plus tôt.”

L’ancien député provincial Peter Kormos est décédé à son domicile de Welland le 30 mars 2013, il avait 60 ans.

Protecting Laurentian University Greenspace
Protéger l’espace vert à l’Université Laurentienne

April 12, 2022

Government can and must protect Laurentian Greenspace

The Ford government should be actively protecting Laurentian University’s greenspace said MPP France Gélinas (Nickel Belt) during question period on Wednesday.

“Any Laurentian University student or community member can tell you the added value of the greenspace to their quality of life and to their education. Fifteen local organizations, including HSN physicians and all four school boards have written to the minister about it.’’

As the debtor in possession, the government has the right to Laurentian’s property. The government has to agree and can oppose the sale of any of Laurentian University’s assets, including its greenspace.

‘’Can the government reassure my community now, by making it clear that they will use their powers as DIP lender to oppose and stop the sale of any greenspace at Laurentian University.”

Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop refused to commit to protecting Laurantian’s greenspace indicating her ministry would “continue to monitor” the CCAA process

LifeLabs

Gélinas – We pay for LifeLabs, Where is the Access?

QUEEN’S PARK – France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt and the Health Critic for her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, rose in the legislature this morning to speak to the challenges Nickel Belt residents are having accessing LifeLabs’ services.

“Since I last spoke about the problems with LifeLabs my constituents are having, waiting outside in the cold, things have gotten worse not better.

Mr. Phillips is not computer savvy and couldn’t use the online portal, so he waited 3 hours on the phone before the call dropped.

Jean-Pierre Lauzon’s wife needs blood work every ten days. She can’t book an appointment at any of the LifeLabs centres in Sudbury for December 3rd. Online everything on December 3rd has a big red X nothing is available.

Victor Boulard tried the 1-877 number for three days, he never got through. So he tried the online portal, for some reason it will not accept his password.

Mr. Denis knocked on the door of our constituency office, he had given up on the 1-877 number for LifeLabs and could not navigate the website. We tried at our office but the online portal wouldn’t book him, he’s still looking for his password.

Suzanne & Adolphe Charbonneau will have to wait 3 weeks for a simple blood test. Adolphe asked me “Why is this happening, this is paid for with public money, tax money. This is not right.” I agree with him speaker.

LifeLabs is paid for by the government and represents an important part of our health care system and their customer service is atrocious.

And that’s not all, access to flu vaccine is not any easier whether at your primary care provider, Public Health or pharmacies, nobody has flu vaccines in Nickel Belt.”