Last September we were told Southlake Health Centre would be laying off 97 registered nurses as a result of 

“a significant financial challenge.”

A few months earlier in June the Health Centre’s Treasurer told the Annual General Meeting the $17M deficit was “not sustainable”.  

I am left wondering what happened. 

Like everyone else in Newmarket I am grateful we have a big general hospital on our doorstep and we leave the people in charge to get on with running it.

But every so often the hospital is engulfed in huge destabilising controversies. And then it all goes eerily quiet. The hospital battens down the hatches, the press stops reporting things and life continues as before.

Virtual Town Hall

Perhaps we shall find out tonight (Wednesday) what happened to the nurses when Southlake’s Chief Executive Arden Crystal leads a virtual Town Hall that will

look back at challenges faced by Southlake over the last 12 months, look ahead to what future challenges might be, as well as solicit input on the hospital’s new master plan for a new build.

It sounds like business as usual after the recent turmoil.

Southlake has had a troubled relationship with the Ontario Nurses Association who condemned the plan to lay off registered nurses. The ONA also took out full page ads in the Toronto Star and elsewhere criticising Newmarket-Aurora’s MPP, Health Minister Christine Elliott, for failing to intervene on nurses’ pay when the planned increase was pegged at 1% a year for three years.

On 30 March 2020 Premier Doug Ford famously said nurses’ pay wasn’t a matter for him:

“If it was up to me I’d just give them the bank.” 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Update on 12 May 2021: Lay-off notices handed out to 70 Registered Nurses