Image shows the inside of Sunnyside, a long-term care home, with bright green walls and a large wooden sign that says "Life is Beautiful." A few of the home's residents are in the photo's background.

Ontario LTCs brought in entry-level assistants during the pandemic. Will they play a role in nursing homes’ future?

As nursing homes prepare for the end of pandemic emergency orders, operators want a permanent role for new, low-paid workers. But advocates like CUPE Ontario’s Candace Rennick question the use of inexperienced staff with vulnerable residents, saying it is a “very sad policy choice.” Called “resident support assistants,” the entry-level job was approved by a…

Image shows Doug Ford at a press conference smiling at the camera.

Doug Ford’s Government Quietly Cut Over $100 Million for Protecting School Children From COVID-19

The line item, the FAO notes, which covers “funding to support the implementation of public health protocols in schools” received $702 million in 2020-21. This year, the province is budgeting $569 million in 2021-22,. That’s a reduction of about $133 million. At the same time, according to the report, local school boards have spent $391…

Anaya Toelly, Stephanie Kocielski and Betty Yakimenko have family members at Madonna Care Community in Orleans, Ont., which experienced a COVID-19 outbreak early in the pandemic. They recently attended a rally in Ottawa to raise awareness about a number of issues with the long-term care system. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

As the COVID-19 pandemic began, long-term care staff were voicing concerns to Ontario’s Ministry of Labour

“There was no real sense of urgency or understanding or acceptance of how critical the situation actually was. And in the case of Madonna, you know, that situation proved to be fatal — not just for workers, but for … several residents as well,” said Candace Rennick, a former PSW and an executive with CUPE…

Image shows Candace Rennick speaking into a webcam during her CP24 interview.

Ontario makes vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory for long-term care staff and volunteers

“We have always taken the position that every member and worker that can be vaccinated should be vaccinated. But we also believe we cannot give up on these workers who showed up every day during the pandemic and worked their hearts out,” said Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Ontario. Click here to watch the full…

Image shows Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario against a black background.

Union calls for Ontario to institute distancing, capacity limits at universities

TORONTO – A union representing workers on university campuses in Ontario called Thursday for the government to put classroom capacity limits and distancing requirements in place to better protect students and staff from COVID-19. Ontario announced earlier this month that it wouldn’t require distancing or class caps when post-secondary institutions resume in-person learning. CUPE Ontario…

Picture shows Rob Ford, wearing a black face mask, wearing a suit and positioned in front of two hanging Ontario flags.

Ontario didn’t spend money from COVID-19 response program in first quarter: watchdog

TORONTO – Ontario did not spend any funds from a new $2.7-billion COVID-19 response program in the first quarter, the province’s fiscal watchdog found, prompting critics to question why the government didn’t use the money during the third wave. A Wednesday report from the Financial Accountability Office found health spending was $691 million lower than…

Image shows many people in colourful t-shirts marching outdoors down the middle of a street.

Hundreds march in 14 communities across New Brunswick in solidarity with front-line workers

“I’m here from Ontario to show solidarity with our members in New Brunswick. What’s happening here is incredibly inspiring because frontline workers, public sector workers are facing the same challenges. Whether we’re in Ontario and New Brunswick, Alberta, across the country, we’re the folks who got our communities through the pandemic, in incredibly stressful, difficult…