For every day of the Pandemic, it’s been my job to track daily COVID-19 infections, to comb through the various datasets and put them into one database. I’ve watched as seniors have borne the brunt of infections and deaths in long-term care. It’s a great national shame we must never forget - that seniors died because our system failed them.
I work at SEIU Healthcare where I serve as a Research Associate, helping to prepare, bargain, negotiate, and represent 60,000 frontline healthcare workers across Ontario. Over the Pandemic, I’ve fought to get Personal Support Workers (PSWs) raises, helped research and gather data on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for workers, and participated in dozens of new and renewed contracts.
I’ve seen how stretched and understaffed our healthcare system is after decades of Liberal and Conservative neglect. I’ve heard the stories of PSWs and RPNs making less than $20 an hour and working in 2 or 3 facilities to make ends meet. I’ve seen the system routinely cut corners and overwork staff to the point of collapse. I’ve seen Employers take away the resources from workers to be safe during the pandemic.
Healthcare for me isn’t just a job, it’s about supporting workers and public services that are so key to making sure everyday people are taken care of. And it’s about expanding the healthcare system to cover all the parts of our bodies.
You deserve the best healthcare and that means:
- Expansion of Universal Healthcare to include Pharmacare, dental care, vision care, hearing care, and mental health care
- Work to implement National Standards for Long-Term Care and make these homes part of public healthcare
- Nationalize Revera and eliminate all for-profit provision of long-term care and home care
- Develop and support domestic vaccine and biomedical research and manufacturing including by public systems
- Develop and support permanent manufacturing of personal protective equipment in Canada
- Implement “Joyce’s Principle” - a commitment to Joyce Echaquan, that healthcare in Canada must be provided without systemic discrimination
- Fighting in Ottawa to ensure continued funding for AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) and Sexual Health services including pushing for at least $100 million in annual funding for ASOs
- Investing in Trans Health and ensuring gender confirmation procedures are available across Canada with a strict ban on sterilization
- Ensuring reproductive justice with access to safe abortions across Canada
- Supporting perinatal mental health before and after birth for any person with a womb
- Decriminalizing personal possession and use of drugs
- Securing options for safe supply of opioids, safe consumption sites, and prison needle & syringe programs to tackle the crisis