Shortchanging Healthcare
Le manque de soins de santé

October 5, 2023

Why is team Ford shortchanging healthcare?

This morning during question period, France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, asked the Premier why his government continues to sit on money budgeted for health services?

” Speaker, yesterday the Financial Accountability Officer confirmed what we already knew: this government is starving our public health care system by spending $1 billion less then what was promised. Instead of strengthening our public health care system – and supporting people who are sick or injured and in need of care this government hides health care money in slush funds. Will the Premier listen to the people of Ontario telling him that their health care system matters, and they want him to keep his promise and spend the money on the care they need?“

“During the first 3 months of this year, this conservative government spent $1 billion less on health care than what they promised. While Emergency rooms continue to close, while 2 millions Ontarians do not have access to primary care while thousand of children are on wait list for surgeries. This government did not spend the money they had allocated to health care. What will it take for this government to go from word to action, stop sitting on the money allocated to health care and get people the care they need?”

Based on information provided to the FAO, the government spent $2.6 billion less than the province had planned to spend during the first quarter of 2023-24. By sector, lower-than-planned spending was led by health.

L’Université de l’École de médecine du Nord de l’Ontario
Northern Ontario School of Medicine University

Le 3 octobre 2023

Le gouvernement Ford financera-t-il l’Université de l’École de médecine du Nord de l’Ontario?

English below

Durant la période de questions, France Gélinas, la députée provinciale de Nickel Belt, a demandé au gouvernement Ford s’il prévoyait combler le manque à gagner causé par la rupture des relations entre l’École de médecine du Nord de l’Ontario et les universités Laurentienne et Lakehead.

“Monsieur le Président, l’École de médecine du Nord de l’Ontario est un grand succès pour améliorer le nombre de médecins : 50 % de ses diplômé.es choisissent la médecine familiale et plus de 90 % de ses restent dans le Nord de l’Ontario.

Aujourd’hui, plus de 400 000 résidentes et résidents du Nord reçoivent des soins primaires et aigus d’un.e médecin formé à l’Université de l’EMNO. Lorsque le gouvernement a créé la première école de médecine autonome du Canada, il savait que cela coûterait plus cher, 4 millions de dollars de plus pour être exact.

À Parry Sound Muskoka et dans de nombreuses autres circonscriptions du Nord, les communautés ont écrit pour appuyer la demande de l’Université de l’EMNO d’augmenter de façon permanente le financement de base annuel.

Quand ce gouvernement accordera-t-il à la UEMNO le financement annualisé de 4 millions de dollars dont elle a besoin pour rester à flot ?

October 3, 2023

Will the Ford Government Properly Fund the Northern Ontario School of Medicine University?

During Question Period France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, asked the Ford government if they plan to make up the shortfall caused by their severing of the relationship between the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Laurentian and Lakehead Universities.
“Mr. Speaker, Northern Ontario School of Medicine is a great success in improving physician supply, 50% of their graduates choose family medicine and over 90% of their learners stay in Northern Ontario.

Today, over 400,000 northerners receive primary and acute care from a NOSM University-trained physician. When the government rushed to make NOMSU Canada’s first standalone medical school, they knew it would be more expensive, $4 million more to be exact.

In Parry Sound Muskoka and in many other northern ridings, communities have written in support of NOSM University’s request to permanently increase in annual base funding.

When will this government give NOSMU the $4M annualise funding they need to stay afloat.”

One in eight Northern residents does not currently have access to a family doctor, and many must travel long distances to access healthcare services.

Respect for Public Health Workers
Respect du personnel de la santé publique

September 28, 2023

When will the Premier show respect for public health workers?

During Question Period France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, asked Premier Ford when his government will start to respect the work of our Public Health Units and properly fund their operation.

“The nurses represented by ONA from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health have been on strike for more than a month now. After 3 years on the front line of a pandemic and this government limiting their compensation to 1% increase with Bill 124, they want respect.

Public health nurses keep us safe from events like E-coli outbreaks in day cares, making 100s of children sick. We know the government is focused on their wealthy friends but could the Premier please focus on these nurses and the important work they do for a while?” Gélinas asked.

Unionized employees at the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health are demanding a fair wage increase but the management team has stated they don’t have room in their budget.

“While this government refuses to show any sign of respect to these women, my leader Marit Stiles joined them on the picket line. On September 22 public health workers represented by CUPE also had to go on strike for fair compensation. These public health workers keep us safe with safe drinking water, remember Walkerton, safe food in the restaurants we eat at and many more. We know this government likes to waste time and money in court, but will the Premier show these nurses and public health workers the respect they deserve, fund our public health units and stop its appeal of bill 124?

Bill 124 capped public sector wages at one per cent per year for three-years during the pandemic. When Ontario courts ruled Bill 124 unconstitutional Premier Ford decided to appeal the court decision. No date has been set for the government’s appeal.

Stop Privatizing Healthcare
Arrêt de la privatisation des soins de santé

September 27, 2023

Ontarians have spoken, Stop Privatizing our Healthcare System

France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, rose in the legislature this morning to relay to the Ford government the message the Ontario Health Coalition and thousands of people brought to Queen’s Park.

“Speaker on Monday the Ontario Health Coalition brought almost ten thousand people on the front lawn of our legislature. The entire NDP caucus was present but not one member of the conservative party wanted to hear their message. The thousands of people who came, spoke with one voice their message to the government on behalf of millions of Ontarians is clear:

Stop Privatizing our healthcare system.

Many shared personal stories of being charged at private clinics for services that should have been free. Of having to pay $200 to a nutritionist before they could get the free colonoscopy they needed. Or having to pay $1000 for the lens their ophthalmologist prefers to use but is not covered by OHIP. The auditor Outpatient Surgeries report’s findings are not pretty but not surprising. Her report shows private clinics over charge, many double bill and there is no accountability for their actions. Yet the Premier and Minister of Health are giving millions more money to private clinics; clinics who poach staff from our public system and make the health care staffing crisis worse.

I am from the party of Tommy Douglas the father of Medicare: a program that defines us as Canadians as Ontarians, where care is based on needs not on the ability to pay. Ontarians are united they want the government to stop the privatization of our health care system. We live in a democracy I hope the government starts listening to the people of Ontario, not just the donors who show up to their fundraisers.”

Keep Emergency Rooms Open
Garder les salles d’urgence ouvertes

June 8, 2023

Will the Premier listen to Ontarians and keep their emergency rooms open?

France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, asked the Premier yesterday morning why he will not listen to the many Ontarians who are asking for help to ensure their public hospitals’ emergency rooms can stay open.

“Last week the health coalition brought 400,000 Ontarians’ voices opposed to private health care to this legislature. Today Brock University students are here to show their dissatisfaction with this government’s privatization agenda. People representing Minden, Mount Forest, Palmerston, Listowel, Wingham, Seaforth, Clinton, Grey Bruce, Chesley, Thessalon are here, asking the Premier to reopen their ER or keep their ER open.

We live in a democracy. All those people come to Queen’s Park because they are scared, they are worried, they are anxious, they want to be heard. Why won’t the Premier listen to them?”

On May 26th and 27th, the Ontario Health Coalition held a referendum setting up almost one thousand polling locations across the province. They asked Ontarians whether they wanted public hospital services in Ontario to be privatized. There were over 400,000 votes in the referendum, with 98% of people voting against privatization.

Housing For Gogama
Logement pour Gogama


May 30, 2023

The people of Northern Ontario are tired of waiting for this government

France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, rose this morning in the Legislature to speak to the ongoing challenges facing people who what to buy a home or set up a business in Gogama.
“The beautiful community of Gogama in my riding is located across the street from a new gold mine. In 2020, the Premier came to the groundbreaking ceremony; he said and I quote: this gold mine will bring economic prosperity and change lives in Gogama. I agreed.

But for this to happen, people need a place to live and businesses a place to set up shop. Good news there are plenty of empty lots and empty homes located on paved roads, with streetlights, hydro, telephone, internet, water and sewage, everything a modern family or business needs.
But the bad news: none of them are available for sale. You know who owns them all speaker. The government of Ontario or as the locals call them the worst slumlord in this province.

Since 2020 my office has been relentless in trying to motivate this government to put them up for sale or at least rent them out. I wrote and delivered letters to the Premier, the Ministers of Finance, Government and consumer services, Infrastructure, Natural resources and Forest and the answers for the last 3 years has been crickets. While over a dozen properties are left to rot; Gogama like many other area of this province faces a housing crisis. Gogama is missing out, on the prosperity the Premier promised.

The people of Northern Ontario are tired of waiting. This government needs to put these homes and lots up for sale right now.”

The Côté Gold deposit outside Gogama is expected to employ 450+ full time employees for an 18-year project lifetime. The project is located across HWY 144 from the community of Gogama.

For-Profit Outsourcing Does Not Reduce Wait Times in Health Care
L’externalisation à but lucratif ne réduit pas les temps d’attente dans les soins de santé


May 23, 2023

For-Profit outsourcing didn’t reduce Alberta wait times

During debate in the Legislature, France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, encouraged the Ford Conservatives to read Failing to Deliver: The Alberta Surgical Initiative and Declining Surgical Capacity. Released this month, the research report examines the Alberta’s significant expansion of for-profit, corporate health care started in 2020 and the effects on access and wait times.
“I encourage all of you to read the Parkland Institute report that just came out from Andrew Longhurst, who looked at Bill 30—Bill 30 is basically the equivalent of Bill 60 but in Alberta. What did they find when they did an analysis? Researchers found that the privatization: increased public sector staffing shortages and destabilized public hospitals, led to unlawful extra billing and two-tier health care. There was also a higher cost of for-profit surgical delivery even though the patients accessing for-profit surgery were healthier and wealthier that an average patient. The research found evidence of conflict of interest in medical decision-making, where surgeries were offered and performed while there were patient safety and care quality concerns. All of this because, for-profit-held delivery maximizes profits by maintaining as low a staffing level as possible per patient” stated Gélinas.

“The findings in Alberta are exactly the same as the findings everywhere else this has been tried. It has been tried in the UK. It has been tried in different parts of Australia. Everywhere you try it, you end up with the exact same result. It cost the taxpayers more money. Their wait-lists are the longest of all of the provinces in Canada for most of the procedures, but there are some investors that are making millions of dollars off the backs of sick people. There is one corporation that made $108 million. That’s a lot of payments for nurses and quality care that is not being delivered, but this is the path this government has chosen.”

Failing to Deliver: The Alberta Surgical Initiative and Declining Surgical Capacity was released on May 16th 2023 by the Parkland Institute. An Alberta-wide, non-partisan research centre situated within the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta. Parkland Institute studies economic, social, cultural, and political issues facing Albertans and Canadians.

Expand Access to Nurse Practitioners
Élargir l’accès aux infirmières praticiennes et infirmiers praticiens


May 19, 2023

Why No Money in the Budget for Nurse Practitioners?

During debate in the Legislature, France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, asked the Minister of Finance why there was very little money in Ontario’s budget to expand access to Nurse Practitioners.
“We all know there are close to two million Ontarians without access to primary care. In my riding it’s thirty thousand people who don’t have access. We also have some under employed nurse practitioners right here, right now who would love to provide care a thousand orphaned patients from Capreol, from Coniston or from South West Aboriginal Health Access centre, but yet there is very little money in the budget to do this.

Why is it that after all of them came and presented to the finance committee for the budget consultations telling us that we need investments in Nurse Practitioner Led Clinics, in Aboriginal Health Access Centres in Community Health Centres. Giving us road maps so that they can hire those nurse practitioners who live in Ontario right now and would love to take on rosters of primary care clients but yet the budget didn’t deliver.” Gélinas question. “What do you have to say to those thousands of Ontarians who know that they could get access to primary care if only your government would be willing to fund Nurse Practitioner Led Clinics, Community Health Centres and Aboriginal Health Access Centres? ”

Although the Minister stated funding for health is increasing by over $15 billion dollars over the next three years only $30 million has been allocated to expand Family Health Teams, Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics, Community Health Centres, Indigenous Primary Health Care Organizations; less than 0.2% of the budget increase. “This government knows that part of the solution is to funds positions for underemployed Nurse Practitioners who are ready to help alleviate the problems in primary care” Gélinas stated. “It’s beyond disappointing for Ontarians with no access to primary care.”

Fix the Provincial Doctor Shortage
Remédier à la pénurie de médecins dans la province

May 12, 2023

Families in Sudbury and Nickel Belt are tired of waiting for a family physician

France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, asked the Minister of Health when the government will follow the recommendations of the Ontario College of Family Physicians to fix the provincial doctor shortage.
“Over 2.2 million Ontarians do not have a family physician; more than 360,000 of them are children. That number increases each and every month. It will reach three million people by 2025, as fewer medical students choose family practice, and more family physicians retire. The growing physician shortage will put more pressure on already overwhelmed hospitals, emergency departments, urgent care and even our long-term-care homes.

Family physicians need this government’s support to continue to provide top-quality care to us. They need access to team-based care, reduced administrative burdens and an electronic health record that actually works. Will this government listen to Ontario family physicians and act upon their recommendations?”

On February 9, 2023, the Ontario College of Family Physicians cited research from INSPIRE Primary Health Care which found that almost 15% of Ontarians do not have a regular family physician. They also stated previously that Ontario is on track to have 1-in-5 people without access to a family physician by 2025.

Vote down Bill 60
Votez contre le projet de loi 60

May 8, 2023

Bill 60 is the end of Medicare as we know it

France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, rose this morning in the Legislature to urge government members of the Legislative Assembly to vote down Bill 60.

“Today is a sad day, a day that will go down in the history of our province as the day the Ford government delivered a fatal blow to our treasured Medicare. Today, this Conservative government will say “goodbye” to care based on needs and “come on in” to investors who want to make money off the backs of sick people. Because make no mistake, Speaker, there is a lot of money to be made off of people who are sick, who are desperate for care in the hope of getting better. Investors know that. They know that sick people are at a vulnerable time in their lives, and it is easy to abuse that vulnerability to increase profits.

The Minister says that we need the changes in Bill 60 to decrease wait times but look at our hospital job boards: there are over 36,000 health-care-job vacancies in our hospitals right now. How are they supposed to recruit when for-profit clinics will offer a Monday-to-Friday, 9 to 5 jobs? It will make the wait for hospital care increase tremendously. But the rich and powerful friends of our Premier, they will have faster access, using their credit cards to get to the front of the line, while the rest of us hold our hats.

To my MPP colleagues: Do the right thing. Vote down Bill 60. ”

The NDP put forward 74 amendments to Bill 60, which aimed to improve transparency, accountability, protect patients and ensure that the Colleges that regulate Ontario’s healthcare professionals will be able to maintain professionals’ oversight. The government voted down all these amendments.