Ontario Health Coalition, Protecting Workers

Record Case Numbers, COVID-19 Third Wave Emergency:

Ontarians Need Clearer Message, Stronger Protections- Coalition


Yesterday was the worst day for the spread of the pandemic so far. In one 24-hour period, 4,456 Ontarians were diagnosed with COVID-19. In that single day, 21 lives were lost to COVID-19. 


The 3rd wave is devastating, deadly, and it is overwhelming our health care system.


Yesterday’s 4,456 new infections marks the single day highest rate of virus spread of any point in the pandemic. (The previous worst day which peaked at 4,249 was on January 8.)


1,646 Ontarians are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (up 133 since yesterday). Ontario is now reporting 619 patients in Intensive Care Units with COVID-19, 408 of whom are intubated. There are more Ontarians struggling to survive in our ICUs than at any time during the first two waves of the pandemic.  



“We fear that Ontario employers and Ontarians have not comprehended fully the gravity of the pandemic at this point. It is imperative that employers understand the risk they are putting their employees in by requiring them to work on site.  We need stronger protections for workers, paid sick time, and public health measures need to be much more seriously enforced, particularly workplace shutdowns and safety protections for workers,” warned Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition. “The third wave is turning into a tidal wave, and it is devastating to our health care system.  The numbers represent real people, many of whom are seriously ill and the number of human beings dying in our province as a result of the virus is far beyond any level of acceptability.”


News from the frontlines:


“We had 85 people in the waiting room. Normally we have 10-15 and the wait times were around 7 or 8 hours. One person with a punctured lung waited 8 hours to get treated. It’s gotten really bad. People, who I work with, are burning out it has just become too much strain.” Dr. Kashif Pirzada, Toronto Emergency Physician, April 9.


“I have a patient in his early 30s in my ICU with COVID-19.  He was completely healthy prior to acquiring his infection at work.  He is not an essential worker.  He works in the financial services industry in an office job. But his employer mandated that he show face time at the office and come in.” Dr Michael Warner, ICU Doctor, Michael Garron Hospital (Toronto), April 5.


“We are seeing that in our area up to 90% of the cases are the variants.  Our sentiment is that it never should have come to this. We’ve been begging for weeks.  We saw this coming and we have been begging for weeks for the government to make the right decision and shut down the province and shut down the schools.” Dr Lisa Salamon-Switzman, Toronto ER Physician, April 9.


“Saw 20 severe COVID patients yesterday, 14 were workplace related transmissions. Stay-at-home won’t fix that. Temporarily close manufacturing & distribution of non-essential goods. Do everything possible to protect essential workers: paid sick leave +N95 [masks]+2x/week rapid test + vaccinate.” Dr. Brooks Fallis, Toronto Critical Care Physician, April 9.


“Our ICU is at capacity. We are taking over other units in the hospital because of how many Covid patients we have & onboarding nurses from other units to help... I know 'a nurse is a nurse' but I can only imagine how overwhelmed they must be feeling right now. Third wave is real.” Critical Care Nurse, April 10.


“On paper Ontario has about 2300 ICU beds, in practice we have far fewer because we simply cannot staff them. We can open up SickKids to adult patients, we can more move patients to Kingston and beyond, but eventually we will run out of places to move patients because we won’t have enough trained staff to care for them.” Dr Michael Warner ICU Doctor Michael Garron Hospital (Toronto), April 10.


“We are losing a COVID ICU patient under age 50 every 2.8 days. In Wave 2 we lost one every 5 days and in Wave 1 we lost one every 6 days.” Dr Michael Warner, ICU Doctor Michael Garron Hospital (Toronto), April 7.


“It took: 5 MDs, 4 ICU RNs, 4 RTs, 1 Perfusionist and 3 Critical Care Paramedics 3 hours to save my 40-year-old COVID-19 patient.  It would have cost the Ontario Government $114 dollars to allow her husband to take a day off work from his factory in known outbreak.” 

*His patient later lost her battle with COVID-19

Dr Michael Warner ICU Doctor Michael Garron Hospital (Toronto), April 3.


Response to the gaining amplitude of the third wave is coming too slowly and it is risking the health and lives of Ontarians. Between April 1 when the provincial government said it was applying an “emergency brake” leaving open stores and malls with reduced capacity, and April 8 when the province finally called for a “lockdown” (which still leaves many non-essential businesses open) 24,209 Ontarians contracted COVID-19. In that 7-day period 128 Ontarians died. It is imperative that the gravity of the situation be fully understood by Ontarians. 



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~ Protecting Public Medicare for All ~


Ontario Health Coalition
15 Gervais Drive, Suite 201
Toronto, ON M3C 1Y8
[email protected]


Canada's Workers Are In Crisis

Canada’s workers are in crisis.


Canadians are calling for basic, fundamental rights like paid sick leave, living wages and other much needed benefits.


Too many politicians aren’t listening. That stops now.


In just three days, Canada’s federal budget will drop. An election is likely to follow – which means we have to start organizing right away. Let’s make sure no worker is left behind.


Get started by RSVPing to our next organizing workshop on April 20.


You’ll be learning from the best. Long-time organizer Pam Frache is the Ontario coordinator for Fight for $15 and Fairness. She has spent the pandemic fighting for paid sick leave for all workers.


Election or not, Canada needs more people fighting for workers.


Get started by RSVPing today:


Hope to see you there,

Standing up for workers and their families



1 minute, 1 big question Preview

Subject: 1 minute, 1 big question

 Find out what kind of organizer you are




Everyone has what it takes to be an organizer.


This quick survey will help us discover what skills you can rock on a campaign team, because we’ll need all hands on deck if a spring election is called.


Whether you’re more comfortable tweeting behind the scenes or chanting on the streets, there’s a place for you to help change your community – and move Canada forward together.


Let’s find out what you do best. Take our 1 min survey now:


Tomorrow Election Organizing

Subject: URGENT: Last chance to register





Quick check-in – have you registered yet?


Tomorrow we’re kicking off our digital organizing series. The first session is Digital Organizing for Change, and it starts at 2 pm EDT.


Reserve your spot now – it takes less than a minute.


The pandemic is still raging. If an election is called soon, we’ll need all the help we can get to reach Canadians.


Organizing is hard enough as it is. (You know that better than anyone!)


Organizing for a federal election during a pandemic is daunting – but digital tools make it doable.


Register now:


See you there,

Standing up for workers and their families



Election Organizing


I don't know about you but I’m getting a bit antsy.

Feels like an election can be called at any time and I want to be prepared.

I’d like to think I’m an experienced election organizer but I know there’s one thing we both have in common. Neither of us have worked a federal election campaign during a pandemic.

It’ll be a historic moment -- and we have one shot to get it done right.

That’s why I’m looking forward to the CLC’s election organizing session on March 23 at 2 P.M. Eastern Time. It's a chance for you to improve your organizing skills and help move Canada forward together.

Reserve your spot now to start getting election-ready.

{Button text: RSVP Today!}

Right now I think vaccines are on top of mind for most families so we have to stay on top of the government’s rollout plan but there’s so much we still need to fight for like better jobs to replace the ones we lost in [REGION]. 

The financial burden of the pandemic also continues to weigh heavily on families so we need to strengthen health care and disaster-proof our social safety net now.

We all have a responsibility to take action and participate when the election is called. Start now by registering for this important event.

See you then,

Kincardine Pride Celebrates IWD

March 7th, 2021-For Immediate Release

Kincardine Pride-International Women’s Day

International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women since 1911. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Kincardine Pride President, Fort Papalia, sees the intersection of IWD and Pride. “Both IWD and Pride are born out of repression, discrimination and most disturbingly, violence and persecution, usually at the hands of men and male-dominated organizations. Violence and persecution against people who sought nothing more than the equality and equity that should be a birthright”. 

Thankfully, significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements or rally for women's equality. IWD, like Pride, celebrates all we have accomplished and all that is yet to come. Taking a note from CUPE Ontario President, Fred Hahn, Kincardine Pride Parade Director, Dave Trumble sees a future “where no one will ever know a time when IWD and Pride are not celebrated. There is no taking a step back”.

International Women's Day (IWD), marked annually on March 8th, is one of the most important days of the year to:

  • celebrate women's achievements
  • raise awareness about women's equality
  • lobby for accelerated gender parity
  • fundraise for female-focused charities

Having to say that women are an equity seeking group as we are one fifth of the way through the twenty first century is a tragedy. Unfortunately, the pervasive systemic discrimination that still exists finds women, often caregivers to both parents and children, too often trapped in economically, socially and physically vulnerable situations, both at home and in the workplace. COVID-19 has shone a harsh light on this. As we approach IWD 2021 we must see March the 8th as not only a day of celebration, but of rededication to remove this systemic discrimination in every corner of our existence.  

          Charter support for advancing and accelerating gender parity and LGBTQ parity is in the DNA of organized labour. Allies of all those seeking social justice, the labour movement is a natural ally of Pride and IWD. For decades labour has played a significant role, but perhaps none more so than the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) Women’s Committee. The committee was formed in 1976. Members of the committee organized and mobilized demonstrations, strike support, civil disobedience, marches, and lobbies to name but a few activities. Amongst many issues we find, maternity leave, ending racist immigration policies, equal pay for work of equal value, family law reform, childcare, full access to reproductive rights and midwifery, an end to violence against women, LGBTQ rights, and union recognition.

In 2021 the Women’s Movement, Pride and Labour are long standing allies in the fight against systemic repression of targeted groups. As we look beyond 2021 and COVID-19 the world will see a successful recovery only if the recovery works for everyone. Allies in the pursuit of social justice will lead the recovery and this year let us celebrate IWD and dedicate ourselves to ally with a recovery and a future of equality, equity and social justice. Kincardine Pride is pleased and proud to wish everyone a happy, safe and optimistic International Women’s Day.

Media inquiries to Kincardine Pride are welcome.




Income Supports

Subject: I need you to write to your MP today

Preview: Canada’s unions secured an extension for income supports for workers past this month but there’s more work to do.




With the help of the CLC who held Ottawa’s feet to the fire, the federal government has extended income support past March. They announced a 12-week extension for both the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), as well as an additional 24 weeks of eligibility for Employment Insurance (EI).

Let’s take a moment to recognize that the actions we take − writing letters, signing petitions, chirping on social media  − all make a difference in the fight to move Canada forward.

While the extension is a good first step, people in Grey Bruce still don’t have a job they can go back to. And those who don’t qualify for EI still need income support in the months ahead and maybe years ahead.

Tell the federal government to stop kicking the can down the road; reform EI now.

The road to recovery is long but families in Grey Bruce need financial support and stability today. They need to keep the lights on and put food on the table.

Let’s get the job done,

Woman Are Organizing

Subject: Women are organizing.
Here’s the plan...


Women in Canada, including right here in Grey Bruce, are the ones who always pick up the slack – to provide care, to carry the mental load, to know what’s needed and to get it done.

Here are some things we knew were true before the pandemic started:

  • Women make 32 percent less than men;
  • Racialized women make 40 percent less than white men born in Canada;
  • For Indigenous women, the gap is 45 percent;
  • For immigrant women, it's 55 percent; and
  • For women with a disability, it’s 56 percent.

But unfair wages are just one of the problems.

Most of the workers in Grey Bruce taking care of the elderly, children, and people with disabilities are women. A higher proportion of women also lost their jobs in the pandemic because they work in sectors and industries hardest hit by isolation measures.

More women have been diagnosed with COVID-19 than men and, tragically, more women have died as well. This pandemic is devastating a generation of working women and no one is lifting a finger to stop it.

You can choose to challenge a system that is doing nothing to help women by pledging your support to the women in your life. {Button link goes here} {}