'Hire us first!' Ousted healthcare workers show solidarity over remaining COVID-19 vaccine mandates

From frontline heroes to zeroes in one year, many healthcare workers are banished from their professions due to lingering COVID-19 vaccine policies.

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The United Healthcare Workers of Ontario (UHCWO), in conjunction with Canadian Frontline Nurses, gathered over the weekend at a church in Port Perry, Ontario to show solidarity for healthcare workers still ousted for standing up for their bodily autonomy.

Approximately 160 supporters gathered – both in-person and virtually – in the hope of receiving fair representation in the mainstream media.

Many have been banished from gainful employment within the healthcare sector for over a year. They chose to uphold freedom of medical choice in the face of the coercive “get vaccinated or be fired” tactic instituted initially by the Ontario Government and later individual hospital governing bodies.

Despite Ontario’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, rescinding Directive 6 (that stipulated COVID-19 vaccine mandates) in March of 2022, it appears that the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) has continued to pressure hospitals to keep this outdated policy in place.

“I was terminated from my position under the guise of noncompliance to the vaccination mandate… because it was such a government fearful mandate they followed through on it, and I followed through on my end of it as well that I was not going to be vaccinated. This vaccination came out too quickly and it made me nervous,” said Liz, a terminated long-term care dietary aid.

“I felt that I have bodily autonomy and that ultimately it should be my decision,” another terminated emergency department nurse stands firm in her conviction.

As Premier of Ontario Doug Ford moves to “poach” nurses to deal with an exacerbated and increasing staffing crisis, Liz said that ousted healthcare workers should be hired back first.

And one registered nurse says that the showing at this event is just the tip of the iceberg.

“Nurses were told that if they resigned [quietly], they would not have a mark on their record and their college would not get a report on their conduct. You can be assured that for every nurse that was terminated, likely double that resigned. And those that resigned or went into early retirement are not included in the small demographic,” she alleged.

CTV News health contributor Avis Favaro, a self proclaimed hypochondriac, narrated the discussion and has since posted a report on the event.

Will mainstream media coverage create the public pressure needed to do away with coercive and nonsensical COVID-19 vaccine mandates for healthcare workers? 

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